SciTechBlog   « Back to Blog Main
March 11, 2008

A Brilliant Night Launch for Endeavour

Posted: 10:26 AM ET

For a few dozen seconds early Tuesday morning the darkness of night turned into what looked like day at the Kennedy Space Center.

 

NASA Image

At 2:28 a.m. Launch Complex 39 – including the huge vehicle assembly building and the neighboring press center – were relatively dark. The parking lot lights had been turned off for the launch. Clouds obscured the moon and the stars. In the distance – about 3 miles away – huge flood lights made a giant X in the sky as they illuminated the space shuttle Endeavour sitting on its launch pad.

 

As the press center's giant countdown clock ticked down, NASA commentators calmly called out the remaining seconds over loud speakers – "3 – 2 – 1." The first sign something was happening on the pad was the smoke that billowed from the sides of the rockets. Quickly a bright light emerged as the more than 4 million pound "stack" of the orbiter, the external fuel tank and the solid rocket boosters silently lifted into the sky. The bright light in their wake looked almost like a sunrise - in high speed.

 

The next part of the launch experience was the rattle of the engines. Seconds after seeing the bright light the sound of the rockets reached the press site. First there was a soft rattle that grew louder and louder. At full volume you could feel the vibrations as the sound waves slammed into your body. The sound was so intense that car alarms in the parking lot start to go off.

 

As the shuttle continued to rise into the night sky the area around the press center grew brighter and brighter. At full intensity it became so bright you would think the sun was out. Then almost as quickly as the light dawned the shuttle slipped into the clouds. The rockets illuminated them from above and then rapidly dimmed as the shuttle rocketed away.

 

There is nothing quite like a space shuttle launch up close... and that's doubly true for a night launch.

 

–CNN Producer Aaron Cooper at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

 

Filed under: NASA


Share this on:
Doug DuBois   March 12th, 2008 10:01 am ET

What was the reason for launching in the middle of the night? Was it purely for the novelty and dramatic video or were ther some mission-related considerations that necessitated a night launch?


ktobin   March 12th, 2008 3:47 pm ET

In order to rendezvous with the International Space Station, the shuttle must launch on a very specific trajectory. Miles O'Brien compares it to a quarterback timing his throw to a receiver down field. Typically there is about a 10 minute window each day when the shuttle can launch to the ISS. At this particular time, that window happened to be in the middle of the night.


Mr. Spock   March 24th, 2008 12:00 am ET

I have often wondered if indeed night launches would be safer for STS missions because of the visibility and typically more stable meteorlogical conditions at night. Endeavor was certainly a beauty to behold when NASA lit that candle.


Lola Sammartino   December 20th, 2020 6:01 pm ET

An impressive share, I recently given this onto a colleague who was simply performing a little analysis for this. And then he actually bought me breakfast because I ran across it for him.. smile. So well then, i’ll reword that: Thnx for any treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending some time to discuss this, Personally i think strongly concerning this and enjoy reading much more about this topic. If you can, as you grow expertise, could you mind updating your blog site with a lot more details? It is actually extremely of great help for me. Large thumb up in this blog post!

http://6dollarmillion.xyz


auto locksmith dacia   January 5th, 2021 12:15 pm ET

I really like looking at and I believe this website got some really useful stuff on it! https://local-auto-locksmith.co.uk/services/


payday loan   January 6th, 2021 7:31 pm ET

I enjoy you because of all of the effort on this blog. Betty delights in carrying out internet research and it's easy to see why. A lot of people hear all about the compelling form you convey both interesting and useful guidance by means of the blog and attract contribution from other individuals about this area and my child has always been becoming educated a great deal. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You're carrying out a dazzling job. https://fenrzusjzneki.online/


purchase mirtazapine   January 8th, 2021 6:07 pm ET

My wife and i were so satisfied when Peter managed to finish up his survey while using the precious recommendations he received when using the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to simply happen to be offering thoughts which usually some people might have been trying to sell. We see we now have you to thank for this. These illustrations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the relationships your site make it easier to promote – it is mostly superb, and it is letting our son in addition to us recognize that this theme is satisfying, which is certainly unbelievably serious. Thanks for the whole thing! https://remeronmirtazapine.com


Wayne Grahan   January 11th, 2021 1:41 am ET

https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/


Keli Eckloff   January 12th, 2021 1:13 am ET

Any way I’m going to be subscribing for a feed and I hope you article again soon

http://yourmatrixcashmachine.com


Dominique Aragones   January 21st, 2021 5:10 am ET

I just couldn't depart your site before suggesting that I extremely loved the standard info a person provide in your visitors? Is going to be back incessantly to check up on new posts.

https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/


Su Susa   January 28th, 2021 10:11 pm ET

Of course, what a great site and educative posts, I definitely will bookmark your blog.Have an awsome day!

https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/


malatya escort   February 4th, 2021 3:29 pm ET

esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

http://www.cuba.tc/escort-kategori/malatya-escort-bayan


mersin escort   February 5th, 2021 11:15 am ET

esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

http://www.elitescorthatun.com/ad-category/mersin-escort/


hair loss prescription men   February 21st, 2021 11:13 pm ET

Hello. Great job. I did not expect this. This is a great story. Thanks! https://hairlossbimedi.com hair loss prescription men https://hairlossbimedi.com/


over the counter atherosclerosis drugs   February 23rd, 2021 7:36 pm ET

You got a very superb website, Sword lily I discovered it through google. https://atherosclerosismed.com over the counter atherosclerosis drugs https://atherosclerosismed.com/


Idella Benziger   March 6th, 2021 2:05 pm ET

https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/


Leave Your Comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.


subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

subscribe RSS Icon
twitter
Powered by WordPress.com VIP