February 8, 2008
Posted: 09:41 AM ET
Yes, I was shooting the event, but could step away from my camera and just gaze at the spectacle with direct eyes.
Loudspeakers let you know when ignition happens, and soon you see plumes of roiled smoke blasting out and boiling up. The Shuttle slips above the gantry and is soon dwarfed on top of a searing cone of fire, rising ever faster.
The rumble is accentuated by claps of hot gases, tickling the sound barrier. A column of acrid billows mark the insistent push to orbit, arching over East and faster.
Distant cheers allow you to crack a smile and say, "Ain't that something!?"
There goes lives, a million inventoried, polished parts, and a whole lotta choices. All pushing the edge of our sphere to rub music against another.
That's what I think when I watch Atlantis rise from the soggy shore to soar again.
- CNN Cameraman Jay Schexnyder
Filed under: NASA
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