Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Space Shuttle Endeavour: Leaving Orlando, FL (MCO)

11MAR08 Titusville, FL

When all was said and done, we departed Titusville, FL at about 4:00a. We spent the next few minutes trying to get down from the high of the moment we just experienced; wow is really all we could say.

We encountered on 95 South at State Road 407, so we went further down to the intersection of 528 and US95. It was smooth sailing from this point until we got to the toll road. Traffic was snarled as everyone had to stop and pay. It was not bad though as they had about eight lanes open and one EPass lane.

We cleared that and headed for SR436 so we could get gas. We stopped at the first station and the price was $4.50 per gallon, good grief we though. We had seen it for $3.50 in Titusville! A lady told us that it was not much less at the next station. The prices are high she said as we are this close to the airport.

We filled up at a price of $18.97 and headed for the airport; it was now 5:05a.

11MAR08 Orlando International, Orlando FL (MCO)
We dropped off the car at the end of a long line. I'm sure that there must be others who were coming from the launch as well. I was shocked to see that many cars there.

Inside the terminal we checked and cleared security without incident and then headed to the gate for a seat. One by one we were seated. we noticed a charging table and a family had their beverages there on the table where the equipment should go. Good grief people, don't you know that the little table is for the electronic equipment?

We charged up our computers as well as checked work e-mail, etc. As we sat, we saw a CNN clip on the TV about the launch. It is just not the same at all. Four guys in the next row looked over and we realized they had seen the launch as well based on their comments. I actually recognized one of them as one my colleagues and said hello and reminisced as well. They had taken that 8:50p flight in last night.

As I looked around, I noticed that the airport was under construction; this is an old terminal; ATA (TZ) used to use it many years ago. Looks like they are just making it nicer inside. It is long overdue.

It was soon time to board after First Class, Elite members, kids under 4 and parents plus anyone who needs extra time. The Boeing 757-300 awaits. I wonder if it is the same one as last night?

Space Shuttle Endeavour: The launch in pictures

So remember that this blog is about the journey, but again, here is an event that occurred after a journey that warrants mentioning...

This is the sight from about 4 miles away across a huge lake/swamp that surrounds the Kennedy Space Center.

The VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building)

People are bored so they use generators to place lights in the water to attract the fish, and the fish do come.

Burger King was the only eatery in town open at the time. Titusville was closed down except for here and the CVS across the street.

Some of the spectators. It was very packed and people just kept coming. The crowd picked up after midight.

So when the Shuttle goes at night, night turns into day for a few seconds; it is really unreal.

Lift off of Endeavour

So there was this cloud just sitting over the launch pad and the spaceship just disappeared into it. The crowd was upset, as was I, but it was fantastic to see nonetheless.

Mass exedous.

No one likes to wait

Look what waiting brings...