Hopefully NASA will replace it with something equally spectacular, or perhaps I'll just have to wait and enjoy a private launch (from on-board).
Downvote me for this, because it's offtopic, and silly, but seeing the shuttle perched up there with those huge tanks of fuel strapped to it's chest reminds me of my dog when I come home from work.
She just looks excited. The rockets don't. They don't have as much personality.
Every time I see the shuttle, it looks like it's happy, and it's excited to be going to space. The rockets just look like hammers.
Actually, it kindof does look like a dog's nose: http://www.enstoneflyingclubblog.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/20...
And when you look at the Ares V rocket. OMG, watching that take off is going to be sick!
Size comparison: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_A7wB2gcr8lA/TAU3evWPPSI/AAAAAAAAIE...
So don't be too bummed, you'll be able to see lots of great launches in your lifetime.
Even more impressive, I watched STS-131 from my hometown one morning. Even from the West Coast of Florida, I could hear the unique sound and power from the shuttle.
I drove around 400 miles round trip to see the last Shuttle Launch, but it was completely worth it to see, in person, humans going into space. If every member of Congress could experience that at least once, NASA would likely not have any more funding problems.
Though it wouldn't have worked well on the last launch due to the clouds, I'm sure there's other launches you could have seen from Daytona.
The first launch I saw when I was a little kid, probably seven years old. I was riding in the back seat of my mom's car and happened to look out the back window. When I looked back, I saw the a fireball rising into the sky, which of course was the shuttle.
Also, about two years ago, I was driving home with my girlfriend one night and we saw a star which seemed to be moving higher into the sky. Suddenly, it disappeared. I couldn't find any mention of rocket launches until, after extensive searching, it turned out to be a secret CIA satellite.
One thing I will remember most about going to college near KSC will be watching shuttle launches. I don't think there is anything on this world that is more impressive than putting our people into space on a pillar of fire.
I'm fairly happy to know that my parents tried to show this to my brother and I. After reading this account, I can say that at some point in my life, I'd like to see humans going into space.
It may be cheesy, but this just set a wonderful tone for my weekend.
Cognitive dissonance much?
For a while, I considered myself a Libertarian, but there were too many conflicts with my own sensibilities (gun control, regulation, etc). I just couldn't ignore the obvious lapse in judgement to make the Libertarian model work.
I still respect P&T, but after listening to Penn rant about de-regulation of markets (Libertarian viewpoint), then seeing it happen (and fall apart), I couldn't continue the one-size-fits-all thought process.
Penn became more quiet about the subject than his tight-lipped partner, Teller. Cognitive dissonance indeed.
Yes, I cried like a little girl.
Seeing the Shuttles next to one another is pretty awesome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Space_shuttles_Atlantis_%2...
If Florida were closer than Mojave, I'd have loved to see the shuttle, too.
Then they came out as anthropocentric climate change deniers. Plus, their cable show "Bullshit" was little more than Leno's Jaywalking, only meaner.
So I had to flip the bozo bit on them. Meaning I've lumped them in with the neocons, creationists, libertarians, homophobes, 9/11 truthers, and other antisocial fruitcakes.
"The NASA definition of comedy timing is the difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound over a distance of 3.7 miles. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second (I knew that off the top of my head). The speed of sound is 1,116 feet per second (I had to look that up). With the two traveling over 3.7 miles that’s 17.505 seconds."
See...doesn't have the same impact when you just tell the punch line.
The piece which was tl;dr for you was one of the most uplifting and inspiring stories I've ever read about watching a Shuttle launch, and you want distil it down to a punch line? Talk about missing the point!
thanks man. Couldn't read more than the 1/3 of the blog - it's just too boring. After your post, googled 'the aristocrats' [and enjoyed it] - you hit it right on the nail. Best tldr ever.