The fourth to last launch of the Space Shuttle is April 5th at 6:21 AM EDT (1021Z).
Now you’re probably thinking it’s a bit early but I was wondering if any FlightAware members are going to Florida for the launch and if they wanted to meet up. I, of course, could fly into any city that Delta serves, including DAB, MLB, MCO, GNV, TPA, SRQ, or pretty much anywhere on this list. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Air_ … stinations
Flightaware wont track it, we will probably get to track t-38’s, support craft, and perhaps track the ferry flight if needed, but not the shuttle itself during flight. Use this instead: n2yo.com/ (Track both ISS and shuttle in google maps)
Shuttle does not have any FAA designation, it is experimental and only in the airspace for a few minutes in launch and landing.
I do know better tracking programs, but you will have to grab your wallet, but im me if interested.
Definitely worth the trip down from North Carolina, with no sleep! Never seen anything like it. Don’t think there are any words to describe it. We watched from the end of a dock/pier in Kar Park about 10 or so miles away. It was unbelievable. Just a few minutes prior to launch the space station came over Kennedy Space center. Pretty neat to see as well.
That’s awesome roll -
I’ve been out of town for a couple weeks, got in late last night and forgot all about the launch. The last night launch, about 6 weeks ago or so, I saw from my house in Charleston, SC. Watched the liftoff on my laptop in the yard and a couple moments later, watched as what looked like a slightly slower shooting star streaked across my sky. That will definitely go down as probably the coolest things I’ve ever seen by far. I’ve been pissed all day I missed this mornings launch - probably never see anything like it ever again.
WiserTime hate you missed it, still got 3 more launches I believe(could be wrong). I have always wanted to go see a launch day or night. We were told by many people how lucky we got to see it on the first try. Talked to some guys out where we were set up to watch and they said they had been 7 other times, and all 7 times the launch was scrubbed for weather or some other issue. It was for sure something ill always remember. We live in Thomasville NC (greensboro area); called my mom to tell her about it and she saw it from the back yard in NC. Ill try and get some of the video we took up in next few days
I planned a trip to Disney World around a shuttle launch back in 2001. The launch was scrubbed twice while I was there, and then it lifted off the day after I got home. I enjoyed the tour of Kennedy Space Center, but dammit… I wanted to see a shuttle launch. I’m planning another trip to Disney this winter… I wonder if any shuttle launches are scheduled for that window.
I hate I missed it too - there are a couple more launches, but no more scheduled for night I don’t believe. You were lucky to see it on your first shot - the last one I did see, I waited up all night and they cancelled with about 9 mins until liftoff (on the morning of the first attempt). Just as cool as watching the launch is watching the streaming video on NASA’s site as they all prepare for it. Chances are, I’ll wind up driving down to catch one of the last launches - it’s still so sad to realize that we’re watching something that we won’t see again. Another thing that’s so crazy is how many people are totally clueless to the program ending…
Similar situation with me. I’m 0/6 on shuttle launches. Been in the area for 6 attempts, all were scrubbed. All were night attempts too, I believe. I just know I will be back down there for at least one of the summer launches.
We have come to the end of an era which unfortunately will not be carried on by another program, at least not under this administration.
All my closeups were blurred but still neat to see. In the second to last photo, the Shuttle is still viewable as a speckhttp://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs431.ash1/23842_1381890783986_1133435897_1161442_7824464_n.jpghttp://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs391.snc3/23842_1381890863988_1133435897_1161444_2430570_n.jpghttp://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs371.snc3/23842_1381891023992_1133435897_1161448_2365022_n.jpghttp://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs391.snc3/23842_1381891143995_1133435897_1161451_802811_n.jpghttp://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs391.snc3/23842_1381891344000_1133435897_1161456_254008_n.jpg
Yes, STS is a glorious thing, and I wish I could see a launch too. But STS was too costly to carry on while simultaneously developing a new launch vehicle. That’s why it was canceled in 2004-5 – scheduled to terminate this year, to save money for Ares-I and Orion development. Back then we thought that’d be OK, because the Ares-I rocket would be coming along about 2012, first crew flights by 2013.
But then Ares-I fell behind schedule, and was turning out even more expensive per flight than STS. Its first flight was most recently projected for 2017 or so. Meanwhile the Space Station would have to be discontinued in 2015 (turned off and de-orbited, or abandoned to the Chinese) to save money to start building parts for the Moon – a heavy-lift rocket and lunar lander. Might have seen a landing by 2025-2030.
The whole Constellation program was basically doomed from about 2005-6, when the architecture grew beyond the budget and schedule, while Katrina was injuring the STS infrastructure and the President was threatening to veto any NASA budget increases. Our aspirations called for something different from what NASA wanted to give us, and finally the disconnect could no longer be ignored.
So Obama wasn’t killing Constellation, just calling time of death. The commercial human spaceflight initiative is a gamble to pull something out of the fire, and it also makes good sense long-term. The premise is that when commercial cargo and crew to low-earth-orbit (LEO) become routine and competition takes hold, the cost will come down; and then big missions to the Moon, asteroids, and/or Mars would be cheaper and easier to mount. The gamble is that it’ll work out soon enough.
Commercial launch services to LEO would aim toward the commercial-aviation model for spaceflight. You can have options corresponding to SR22s, Mustangs, Hawkers, and CRJs, and eventually 757s, 747s, and A380s. If that gamble pays off, we could see it well under way by 2016. Whereas Constellation would never have moved toward economical operational services with potential civilian-commercial spinoffs; it would always have been roughly one Battlestar Galactica per year.
Getting ready, weather reconnaissance aircraft is flying around to gauge weather for the first landing attempt at 8:48 a.m. and there is a second opportunity for a landing at 10:23 a.m Edwards is not being considered today.