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Andrew has been wanting to watch the space shuttle launch. He was going to watch it when he was at space camp the last time it was supposed to launch. This morning at around 9 I had the TV on watching the preparations. Andrew and Tracy still weren't up. I guess I let them stay up too late last night or something.

Anyway, at about 9:15 I went in to wake up Andrew because I knew he really wanted to watch the launch. I woke him up quietly and said "Hey buddy, do you want to get up and watch the space shuttle launch?" He sprung out of bed and said "yes yes, is it taking off soon? I bet the astronauts have been up for a long time already havent they, like probably two hours or something because I think it takes a long time to get their spacesuits on and get ready to go." Kids crack me up.

So we sat together and watched the launch. He was very excited and I was excited too but also was enjoying watching him. It was just fun seeing the wonder and excitement in his face. He knew all the phases, like when the rocket boosters fell away and then waited for the external fuel tank drop. There was a camera mounted on the fuel tank that showed some cool pictures with earth in the background as the orbiter and tank reached outer space. That was cool. Then the tank dropped off the orbiter. That was when Andrew realized the camera was on the fuel tank and not on the belly of the orbiter. He asked what was going to happen to that camera since the fuel tank was going to burn up and I said that it would just burn up too but that was okay because they had more. "Well who was taking the pictures?" Kids crack me up.

For some people, this launch was exciting because it was the first one since the Columbia tragedy. It was exciting for me because I got to experience it through the eyes of a child who has dreams of one day being part of a space program that could take him to the stars.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 26th, 2005 06:38 pm (UTC)
That is really sweet
Jul. 26th, 2005 06:45 pm (UTC)
I remember being about that age (a little older) when Columbia made the first manned flight into space. I had a scrapbook of all the newspaper articles and magazine articles I could find. I kept that scrapbook for a long time and eventually used it as sources for a term paper I wrote as a Junior in High School.
Jul. 26th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC)
The astronauts had been up for a while. I think they got up and had breakfast around midnight.
Jul. 26th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think they did. Heck, they were strapped into their seats already about three hours before liftoff. That's why I thought it was funny that he randomly said they must have been up for two hours. He still doesnt *really* understand how much time or how many hours is a long time, its just abstract for kids. Nor does he know the real complexity of launching a shuttle.
Jul. 27th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
I saw a guy lighting the fuse at the base of the shuttle to get the engines going. He had some jumper cables with him just in case.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )