Science Channel - InSCIder

17 Apr

Oh, How I Love You, Dearest Space Shuttle(s)

Kaitlin-shuttleThere are few things as fuel-guzzling and taxpayer-spending as the shuttle, and there are few things in life that excite me as much as the shuttle!

I got up early this morning in anticipation of the shuttle fly-by, simply giddy. And nervous that I might miss any of the action. At Discovery we got two really good views of it flying over, including this awesome shot my co-worker got.

Putting my passion for the shuttle program into words is difficult. You know the way some people reaction to jewelry or famous people? That’s what the shuttle is to me – it’s my superstar, my special shiny something. I cry when it launches, I cry when it lands – but they’re tears of joy, shear pride. Like a giant, clunky, atmosphere-scorched baby that can’t fly without booster rockets.

Why is it that I feel this way about an inanimate object? Good question – I’ve asked myself this as well. Part of my childhood was spent in Florida, where ironically I never personally attended a launch. Let’s be honest – launches got cancelled and rescheduled, a lot. My practical parents were weary of keeping me out of a school for a day, just to end up having the mission get scrubbed – I’d probably do the same thing in their place. But as kids while jumping on the trampoline in the backyard, we could see the launches at a distance and hear the sonic booms (and be terrified because you didn’t know exactly when they were coming) – it was so cool. I went to Space Camp (still have my flight suit), Dad and I built a model of the shuttle, which I’m pretty sure is still in the basement. I’m beyond thankful to have attended the last night launch and the final launch ever.

As I tearfully explained to the foreign gentleman standing next to me during the final launch, I’ve always had the shuttle program in my life. I remember Challenger, I remember that my dog Stewart and I were at the creek when I read the debrief on Columbia and I remember all the awesome stuff in between. And there are a lot of positives…

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