~Space Shuttle Launches~

When I moved to Florida in 1973, I was very interested in the Space Program. I watched many of the rocket (mostly Saturn) launches from Titusville and Cape Canaveral. There was a high level of anticipation concerning the first Space Shuttle launch those days. There were, as with any new program, many delays. I was fortunate to be among those to see the first launch. It was spectacular! While the rockets sort of crept into the sky, the Shuttle seemed to leap off the launch pad. I watched every launch up to and including the ill-fated Challenger launch in which those seven Heroes were lost. You've all seen the pictures, and as I didn't have my camera that day there are none here. That image remains, forever, in my mind's eye.
I did watch more launches of the Shuttle, when they were resumed, but my interest waned after a few. But, if you haven't seen one live, you have missed out on one of man's great accomplishments. It is something to behold.

Space Shuttle Launchpad B

A launch across the Indian River Lagoon

Taken an instant after liftoff

From across the Indian River in Titusville

You might guess I like the fire tails reflected
in the water

Beyond the dock is the NASA Causeway to
the Kennedy Space Center

Night launches are the most spectacular. They turn night into day.

This is my favorite. I was standing on
the hood of my truck when I took it.

Launchpad B. At the left the water tower dumps a
million gallons of water on the launchpad base to
keep the steel from melting at liftoff.

The Vehicle Transporter: Used to move
the assembled Shuttle from the VAB to the
launchpads. You can walk faster than it travels.
At the bottom on the right and between the
tracks are people standing around.

Vehicle Assembly Building. Where the Space
Shuttle and it's boosters are assembled. Size?
On the left side of the insigna for the Bi-centennial
is a scaffold with two painters on it. For many
years it stood as the building with the largest volume
in the world.

Music is "America Medley"
"America The Beautiful", "Battle Hymm of the Republic", "God Bless America"

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