Mar 7, 2009

Launch on the Spacecoast

The spacecraft Kepler was launched last night at 10:49pm and we were there. We watched from a park on the water with a direct sight line to the launch pad about 5 miles away and listened to the countdown on a hand-held receiver. First we saw a huge light that grew and rose, and then we heard the sound that was bigger than the sky. We could follow the plume and when the rocket was almost out of our sight we could see the boosters fall off like fireworks falling. It was already hundreds of miles away. It was exciting to see all the people gathering -- lots of kids -- it felt like people were in a hurry for a festive, important event. Which it was. The Kepler will look for habitable planets, studying a patch of space for 3.5 years. I was kind of blase about going and much more thrilled than I thought I'd be when it actually happened. A keeping moment for sure.

Seems only right that we received our review copy of Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream yesterday. I'll review it when I get back from vacation.

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