Woo-hoo - GO DISCOVERY!!

Beautiful launch!

I’ve always wondered why they rotate on launch so that the Shuttle is hanging upside down.

To inspect the fuel tanks.

Whew! Now I can breathe again!

Wow! What a beautiful shot of the tank separation! Oh, boy! :slight_smile:

Word on beautiful. Discovery just separated from the main tank. Just beautiful.

Another beautiful thing was the sunlight and shadows as the ship rolled. It’s one of those things I’ve always noticed as a pilot, and I enjoy seeing it happen.

I’ve freakin’ got to get airborne again!

“I must leave this planet, if only for an hour.”

                              - Antoine de St.-Exupéry


In addition to helping them inspect the tank, this reduces the aerodynamic load on the shuttle’s winds during ascent.

Further, the shuttle orients with the bottom up in orbit, so it saves fuel by making it an integral part of the profile.

We tried to see it from down here in Fort Myers but the haze and clouds obscured our view. Very disappointing.

Record crowd here at my office went out to the end of our parking lot to watch it. A few clouds but pretty clear. Mr. Anachi watched it in High Def. as he’s at home recuperating.

I agree on the pretty.

[shameless bragging] My sister did an internship with NASA last summer. She was seriously involved in the ‘return-to-flight’ initiative, and spent a month working to figure out whether or not the problems that ruined Columbia would reoccur, and if so, how to stop that. So I can honestly say that my big sis was a part of this launch - they sent her an official patch and everything.
[/shameless bragging]


Ooh, NinjaChick, that’s cool! I’m jealous!

That was a magnificent camera shot. A still frame is here.

I got up early to watch.

Have they done the end-over-end flip maneuver yet?

Uh, oh.

Keep your fingers crossed, folks.

What happens if they decide that the shuttle can’t make it back to earth?

I think Atlantis is supposedly ready to fly a rescue mission.

Panic ensues. Well, at least in the media. NASA will do just fine, but the media will go berserk.

Panic, I said, panic. Geez, you guys!