Location: Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA
So now that I’m home and all caught up on my sleep, yes, I did manage to stay awake to watch the 6:21am launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, and let me tell you, it was well worth staying up all night for. We originally had a quiet little spot by the water, but after trespassing on some private property belonging to a set of condos with their own pier and decking, we found ourselves having an uninterrupted view across the water straight to the launching pad; maybe seven or so miles out.
I have never before seen a sight so amazing. Upon lift off, the entire sky turned a bright orange making it appear as though the sun was shining down on us in full force; it was like night had become day. A big orangey-yellow glow jetted up into the nights sky and a trail of thick gray smoke-cloud followed behind while the Shuttle roared off into orbit. I was in complete awe. Then, when I though it couldn’t get any better, a gigantic rumble sound echoed through the air while the earth slightly trembled; it was extremely loud, much louder than I imagined.
Discovery could be seen with the naked eye for roughly seven minutes as it shot upwards into the nights sky. Cheering and applauding could be heard from the stretch of beach we were on which added to the excitement. And, almost as an encore, the exhaust plumes left behind from Discovery fanned out in spirals across the morning-break sky, turning pale shades of rose, peach and gold in the glinting morning sunlight; at one point, almost looking like a love heart with an arrow piercing through it. It was absolutely beautiful.
Here is some video I was able to catch…