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Fri Jun 22, 2012, 08:04 PM

1st Ever SPACE SHUTTLE Landing - I was there for this one

By a colossal mistake, I turned right when I should have turned left.

Instead of watching this historic flight with the rest of the contractors, I was seated in the VIP section in Mission Control, surrounded by military brass and the families of the astronauts.



If I had to do it over, I'd screw up just the same.

20 replies, 5200 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply 1st Ever SPACE SHUTTLE Landing - I was there for this one (Original post)
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 OP
PoliticAverse Jun 2012 #1
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #5
LineReply .
Go Vols Jun 2012 #2
shireen Jun 2012 #3
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #6
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2012 #4
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #7
Cooley Hurd Jun 2012 #8
Diclotican Jun 2012 #9
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #10
Diclotican Jun 2012 #13
whistler162 Jun 2012 #11
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #12
skydive forever Jun 2012 #14
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #15
Ready4Change Jun 2012 #16
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #17
GreenPartyVoter Jun 2012 #18
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #19
GreenPartyVoter Jun 2012 #20

Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 12:42 AM

1. They didn't check your Id/Clearance ? n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 04:40 AM

5. I had clearance, just not for that particular section

I worked on shuttle, so I had clearance for the building

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 01:41 AM

2. .

I saw the first launch from Orlando in '81,some 50-60 miles away.It was as bright as the sun.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 03:09 AM

3. awesome!!!

That must have been an amazing experience.

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Response to shireen (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:31 AM

6. It was truly amazing.

Freshly graduated from college, this was just one month after joining the program.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 03:49 AM

4. K&R! Off to The Greatest Page!

Awesome video and what terrific luck for you!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:31 AM

7. Thanks!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 06:18 AM

8. I watched it live (on TV) - ABC, IIRC...

 

The US had just done Skylab and Apollo/Soyuz and then the shuttle came along. Thanks for the clip!!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 04:17 PM

9. Xipe Totec

Xipe Totec

For some reason, or another I want to cry when I saw that clip.. What a wonderfull, gracefull bird she was Enteprise... (Named after the Star Trek Ship Enteprise by the way) When the ship was flying for the first time - I was just a little shild, not even in grade school, but I still understood what it was - and how marvelous it was, when I saw it first time.. And I even wrote a page, my first page I wrote after I learned to write that I wanted to came to USA, to be an astronaut... Oh well I never did that... But I still look at the stars and wonder how it would be to be up there...

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:16 PM

10. Thank you for that wonderful sentiment Diclotican

I still feel a lump in my throat every time I see the Shuttle.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 07:45 PM

13. Xipe Totec

Xipe Totec

I have even been so lucky to be able to look at a space shuttle lunch in real life - it was early in the 1990s (I believe it was in 1992 or something like that) when I was with my family in Florida.. To put a long story short - it was an impressive sight to look the shuttle lunch from the pad (I believe it was from Lunch Pad 39) And rise to the air... The noise, the sound the speed - it was just impressive to look at... I had surly never seeing anything like that before.. And I guess I would never be able to look at something it for the rest of the life. But dam I was lucky to be able to se it (And the tour of Kennedy Space Center was also great - A lot the things I had been reading about for so many years - and now it was all there to look at (or at least as the tour was given us the right to do).. I was a fun place to be - and I guess I could have been there longer, if it was not for the fact we had to get to our motel - and then hit the road the wrong way - and was kind of lost for the next 25 mile (metric miles not the US one).. But we got to our motel - a motel called the red carped, even though it was not a red carped in sight anywhere..

I remembered I got to sleep rather fast that night

Diclotican

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:38 PM

11. IIRC... My brother was stationed at Edwards

so was a little closer to the landing.

but, still a very cool seat.

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Response to whistler162 (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 07:24 PM

12. Edwards is legendary.

That is awesome.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 08:24 PM

14. I worked hands on on the shuttle program

for 25 years. Worked in the VAB building the SRB's and attaching the ET (5A shop for anyone that knows what that means). It was an absolute dream job. Made it to lead position and AST ( Advanced Aerospace Technician, kind of a junior engineer position). Personally built over 100 sets of SRB's and ran the ET attaching to the stack. Saw probably 70+ launches right from the east side of the VAB, 3 miles from the pad. One night, just prior to the scheduled launch the next morning, I was out at Pad A about 10 hours prior to the launch. To say it was incredible is the understatement of the year. If you're ever in Florida around here, hook up with me and I can tell stories that would blow you away. May even show you some souveniers you wont see anywhere else. I was so blessed. Got laid off last July, still looking for work, but I'll never top that experience. On the political side, this is DU afterall, I was amazed how many people even at the cape blamed Obama for ending the shuttle program, when it was Bush back in 2004. I saw firsthand the willful ignorance of republicans right in our own shop. Unbelievable.

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Response to skydive forever (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 08:55 PM

15. I salute you!

I worked at JSC, on-board nav on the simulators and SAIL, the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory. It was my dream job, but I had to leave the program after STS-4. My wife worked on Project LACIE, the Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment. She got laid off during Regan's turn as "Fool on The Hill". Could not afford to live on one salary, so I had to prostitute myself to the oil companies. LACIE was the program that told us how much wheat was going to be produced each year by Russia, China, Australia, Argentina, and the US. When Regan shut it down we went blind. The Russians gamed the system, caused the price of wheat to crash, and then bough it all at below market. That year we paid more in the US for Wheat produced in the US than Russians did for the same grain. And they used it as cattle feed. Thanks again, Repugs.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 01:36 PM

16. I watched that on a tiny screen in my colleges student union.

The student union had several of these tiny, 15" screens that they used to display information about the days events. On that day, they all were switched to a feed of this landing. There were probably several sets of about 100 students clustered around each screen to get a view. And when the shuttle touched down the entire building erupted in applause and cheers.

Thanks for the memories.

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Response to Ready4Change (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 08:39 PM

17. You're welcome, and thanks for sharing your memories too. nt

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 08:48 PM

18. That is so awesome! I adore all things aerospace, but unfortunately

due to being completely inept at math and science I can only be a groupie. (I have a son who is interesting in engineering, but more of the buildings and bridges type, which is also cool.)

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 09:01 PM

19. Do you know the difference between Aerospace engineers and Civil engineers? (old joke)

Aerospace engineers build missiles.

Civil engineers build targets...



Just teasing! I hope your son becomes a fantastic engineer or scientist. Lord knows we need more builders.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 09:13 PM

20. LOL I will have to tell him that one! He's 14 and entering high school this fall. They offer

some great courses for a high school!

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