After a spectacular mission, Discovery and the STS-120 crew came in for a safe landing at KSC a few days ago. I work out at KSC, and I went outside my building to watch Discovery glide in. When the Space Shuttle lands from South to North, it glides pretty much right over the KSC Industrial Area, where about half of the KSC employees work. I happened to have my digital pocket camera on me, so I shot this footage. It’s not the greatest quality video, but it’s about all I can expect out of my pocket digital camera.
Click here to watch the video on YouTube. You can hear the sonic booms in the footage and you can also hear it “whooshing” through the air as it passes close overhead. Remember the Space Shuttle Orbiter lands in an unpowered glide, so the “whooshing” is purely the sound of a large lifting body cutting through the air as it glides down to an unpowered landing.
I was at the NASA Press Site yesterday for the launch of STS-120. What an amazing launch that was to witness. I’ve seen a lot of launches, and this one was the loudest I can remember. I imagine the extreme loudness can be attributed to either the heavy humid air, or the wind direction, or the low cloud deck, or probably a combination of these atmospheric conditions. I took these photos of the launch while at the same time helping to make sure people didn’t “loiter” in front of the big countdown clock. When people stand directly in front of the clock, it has a tendency to annoy most of the TV stations who are using the footage from the countdown clock in their live launch feeds. Click on a photo for a larger version in my photo gallery.
BLOG CONTEST: I will give one dollar via PayPal to the first person who can identify the white haired man in the white shirt in the second photo. Anyone that I know and have already told is obviously not eligible! Also, anyone who was actually at the NASA Press Site yesterday is not eligible. To enter, you must email me (Kurt only) via the web based email form on my website and tell me your name and your email address so that I can PayPal you the money. If you enter using this method, your email address will only be seen by me and nobody else. If you don’t mind sharing your email address with the whole world, you can enter by adding a comment to this blog posting. I promise I will not use your email address for anything other than sending you the one dollar.