SciTechBlog   « Back to Blog Main
April 6, 2010

Geek Out!: Fulfilling a geek dream - there for space shuttle launch

Posted: 11:45 AM ET
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From scifi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

We were awake for more than twenty-four hours in the singular pursuit of one goal: We had a shuttle to catch.

The Space Shuttle Discovery. One of NASA's final shuttle missions blasted off from Kennedy Space Center yesterday morning at 6:21:25 EDT, just as the sun was edging towards daybreak - the last shuttle mission scheduled to blast off into night skies.

This mission and crew are special for a few reasons: it will mark the first time that four women are in orbit simultaneously. It will mark the first time that two Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts are in orbit at the same time. This is Discovery's second-to-last scheduled trip to space, and the last time that a Shuttle crew will comprise seven people. It is also the last time that a rookie will fly aboard the Shuttle.

The milestones are plentiful - like most Shuttle missions, NASA and its partners have made sure the 13-day flight will be nonstop activity.

But for our little crew of three, this launch was unique because it represented a geek dream realized: The three of us have been space enthusiasts, NASA supporters and star gazers for most of our lives. With only four (now three) scheduled launches remaining in NASA's Shuttle program, we were running out of chances to witness a launch in person.

And witness one we did. After weeks of delays due to cold weather and leaky-valve technical issues, Discovery was finally on the launch pad and ready to go. The countdown proceeded smoothly through the course of the night, sliding in and out of planned wait periods with nary a hint of a problem.

We watched the clock tick down, standing a few feet from those iconic yellow numbers. All told, we spent roughly seven hours at Kennedy Space Center, photographing the stars, the moon, the xenon-lit Shuttle and the people who had come to quite literally feel the earth move.

At T-3 seconds, we saw more than felt the three main engines light.

At T-0 we could see enormous clouds of vapor and smoke billowing beneath the Shuttle as Discovery lifted off the pad.

The sky brightened faster than any sunrise. And then, the roar: the ground-shaking, chest-thrumming bass announcement of several million pounds of thrust pushing seven people into orbit.

Accompanying it, the hundreds of shutter clicks as hundreds of photographers scrambled to get the perfect shot.

Then, just as swiftly as it began, it was over. In what felt like a split second, Discovery was out of sight, its thunderous roar fading quickly back to a quiet coastal dawn, leaving only a contrail that marked the sky.

The three of us kept moving, kept shooting, kept talking, completely astounded at the sheer force - physical and mental - that this agglomeration of engineering and ingenuity produced on this early Monday morning.

Posted by: ,
Filed under: Geek Out! • NASA • Space

Share this on:
Jamion   April 6th, 2010 11:59 am ET

I really want to go to a space shuttle launch before they stop them in September. CNN wouldn't want to send me, would they? Probably not, I also want to go to PAX Prime, but probably don't have time or money to do both.

Coaxfun   April 6th, 2010 12:19 pm ET

Ouch... PAX or shuttle launch... That's a hard one. But of the two, PAX will actually be here next year...

Robert Morwell   April 6th, 2010 12:38 pm ET

I've attended two shuttle day time, one night time, and two Spollo launches (8 & 13). I advise anyone who is able to attend such an event to do so. They are magnificent spectacles that no televsion report and no movie could ever truly capture.

Robert Morwell   April 6th, 2010 12:39 pm ET

Oops, make that Apollo launches...darn fumbkly fingers

Raj kumar   April 6th, 2010 12:40 pm ET


Spacey   April 6th, 2010 1:00 pm ET

Space geeks galore-

Product number 7   April 6th, 2010 1:01 pm ET

Comment disabled from the Wikileaks video I see

Sency   April 6th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

I think most people agree that being there for the launch of a shuttle is well worth it:

Chad   April 6th, 2010 11:15 pm ET

Karl Cook   April 7th, 2010 6:46 pm ET

I'm planning on a trip to see next month's launch. Where did you view the launch from & can we get to that spot without press passes?

mess   April 8th, 2010 12:51 pm ET

I was there for the MESSENGER launch and it was so amazing. I would love to see the shuttle launch also.

Michael Boehm   April 8th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

In our jaded society, there is not many experiences left that could be described as "transcendental" with a straight face. Witnessing a night Shuttle launch is one of them. I was fortunate enough to see one back in 2002. It was transformative. Words cannot adequately describe the spectacle; pictures and video do not do it justice.

Shuttle launch: Discovery « Sean O'Key   April 8th, 2010 9:21 pm ET

[...] Check out my blog post on CNN's SciTech blog here. [...]

praca   April 12th, 2011 6:48 pm ET

ou did a satisfactory annoyance creating a words in behalf of the view photographers like me with no note with stock. You explained so much that I needed to know. I peruse it with consuming interest. You are a incomparable writer. I’m glad to from met you and skilled in that you are as abundant and on good terms as your creation indicates. Your labourers is appreciated.

Sharell Nedelman   December 20th, 2020 7:22 pm ET

very nice submit, i certainly love this web site, carry on it}

Carri Fattig   December 21st, 2020 8:11 pm ET

You are a very intelligent individual!

Timmy Boykin   December 22nd, 2020 1:49 pm ET

Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you're working with? I'm planning to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

Booker Rapp   December 24th, 2020 12:11 am ET

Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest factor to be mindful of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time as other people consider issues that they just do not understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

Norberto Michaux   December 24th, 2020 12:59 am ET

Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Rhett Dien   December 24th, 2020 1:19 am ET

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

reduslim test höhle der löwen   December 24th, 2020 8:22 am ET

hello!,I like your writing so much! proportion we keep in touch extra about your article on AOL? I need a specialist in this space to unravel my problem. Maybe that's you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

Elicia Samuelson   December 24th, 2020 10:07 am ET

Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was once a amusement account it. Look complicated to far introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep up a correspondence?

Diamond Gosdin   December 27th, 2020 6:16 pm ET

It’s actually a cool and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

Giovanni Saieva   December 27th, 2020 11:29 pm ET

Please let me know if you're looking for a author for your site. You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

Milan Hayakawa   January 10th, 2021 11:41 pm ET

ClarkPring   March 1st, 2021 4:36 am ET

l30av xq6hh opi2

Sandi Beaz   March 4th, 2021 10:15 am ET

Hey, you used to write great, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

Dale Tolfree   March 6th, 2021 2:24 pm ET

erection pills online viagra   April 14th, 2021 2:28 pm ET

erectile function scale erectile discomfort

zithromax z-pak price without insurance   April 17th, 2021 3:00 am ET

what is zithromax 500mg used for zpack name

how to buy teva sob for viagra in canada   April 19th, 2021 9:59 pm ET

viagra canada pharmarcy viagra canada

buy vardenafil online without presciption   April 20th, 2021 8:09 pm ET

vardenafil cheap buy generic vardenafil over the counter with no pres. online

tadalafil 40 mg from india   April 21st, 2021 3:30 am ET

tadalafil tablets tadalafil pills 20mg

sildenafil 20 coupon   April 21st, 2021 4:29 pm ET

sildenafil 100mg gel sildenafil cost 100mg

alprostadil topical cream   April 24th, 2021 11:09 pm ET

injectable drugs for ed alprostadil topical cream

viagra without a doctor prescription in canada   May 1st, 2021 5:31 am ET

generic drug for viagra in canada best canada viagra pills online

average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?   May 2nd, 2021 1:19 am ET

canadian generic pills canadian diet pills

dapoxetine   May 5th, 2021 4:58 pm ET

dapoxetine pharmacy priligy dapoxetine

aralen chloroquine   May 8th, 2021 4:41 am ET

where to get chloroquine chlorodine

Dusty Hardiman   May 9th, 2021 9:09 pm ET

Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

Lemuel Kaller   May 9th, 2021 9:39 pm ET

Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

Julian Showell   May 10th, 2021 1:54 am ET

Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

avana   May 15th, 2021 8:53 am ET

avanafil avanafil 100

combigan   May 16th, 2021 9:03 am ET

brimonidine generic combigan generic prices

trouctWonfurn   May 23rd, 2021 5:39 pm ET side effects for tadalafil tadalafil daily online tadalafil generic tadalafil blood pressure

combigan   May 25th, 2021 8:05 am ET

brimonidine tartrate 2% combigan cost

dooteoduspiffer   May 25th, 2021 9:12 am ET

cheapest tadalafil cost cialis cost where to buy cialis without prescription cheapest tadalafil cost

totRearorbtem   May 25th, 2021 10:13 am ET

tadalafil goodrx generic tadalafil from uk where to buy generic cialis online safely tadalafil online

trouctWonfurn   May 25th, 2021 7:22 pm ET

tadalafil price walmart – cheap cialis pills for sale tadalafil goodrx best price usa tadalafil

totRearorbtem   May 26th, 2021 4:01 pm ET

side effects of tadalafil side effects of tadalafil prescription tadalafil online

dooteoduspiffer   May 27th, 2021 9:25 am ET where to buy generic cialis online safely generic tadalafil from uk prescription tadalafil online where to get tadalafil

trouctWonfurn   May 27th, 2021 1:49 pm ET

prescription tadalafil online cialis without a prescription what is tadalafil tadalafil drug – cheap cialis pills for sale

click here   June 1st, 2021 9:42 pm ET

Definitely, what a splendid blog and illuminating posts, I surely will bookmark your site.All the Best!

cialis generic   June 3rd, 2021 11:01 am ET

how long does tadalafil last buy cialis usa tadalafil tablets

where to buy tadalafil on line   June 4th, 2021 8:50 am ET

tadalafil 20mg tablets tadalafil cialis tadacip 20 mg

Zetta Smith   June 5th, 2021 8:26 am ET

This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

tadalafil herbal substitute   June 5th, 2021 10:14 pm ET

tadalafil citrate powder tadalafil evolution peptides purchase peptides tadalafil

interactions for hydroxychloroquine   June 7th, 2021 2:08 pm ET

sulfur effects on body hydroxychloroquine coronavirus chloroquinw

Jeffery Pone   June 7th, 2021 9:10 pm ET

This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

clonidine   June 8th, 2021 3:39 am ET

methotrexate side effects usmle aralen for sale where do you get hydroxychloroquine

Marylynn Arellanes   June 11th, 2021 8:54 pm ET

This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

Shemeka Piccirillo   June 18th, 2021 12:21 pm ET

Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs   June 25th, 2021 1:50 am ET

erectile definition

pharmaceptica   June 25th, 2021 5:43 am ET

erectile vacuum pump video   June 28th, 2021 5:59 pm ET

tadalafil troche cost

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
Powered by VIP