STS-130, Take 1
We left at 3:45 on Friday, stopped in Spanish Fort, Alabama for the night, and arrived in Orlando at 8:15 last night. After a few hours of chilling out with my parents and brother David, who drove down from North Carolina, we headed to KSC. We met my brother, his girlfriend, and her son, who drove up from Miami, just after midnight at the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Packed into two cars with two car passes, we scooted on site and by 12:45 we were parked on the causeway.
The view from the causeway was actually far BETTER than I expected. The launch pad was perfectly aligned with our viewing spot, and the orbiter was in full view. You could easily make out the shape of the orbiter on the stack with your eyes, even though it was more than 6 miles away, and the view through binoculars was awesome.
I was feeling really good about things, but alas, clouds moved in towards the end and scrubbed the launch. Traffic moved quickly off the first part of the causeway, and I optimistically thought we’d beat the rush. But it slowed to a crawl, then a dead stop, and it took 2.5 hours to get back to our hotel next to the Orlando airport. At that point, we all crashed for some much-needed sleep.
I found the scrub far more disappointing this time than other times, perhaps because this time we drove 16 hours to see it. Although I know it’s completely irrational, I also feel like it’s somehow my fault, because my family drove all the way here and they didn’t see it! And Brian and Cindy and Danny were only able to come last night. They drove up from Miami and got little sleep all to see a launch scrub. Boo.
The five of us will be back again tonight/tomorrow morning. I’m crossing my fingers that it goes this time!