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Old 07-05-11, 09:09 PM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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The last photos of this on a ride I will ever get

My ride out to the beach takes me through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is just to the north of the space shuttle launch pads. Friday's scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis will be the final launch for the shuttle program. These are the last photos of me on a ride with the shuttle on the pad:







Truly the end of an era.
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Old 07-05-11, 09:16 PM   #2
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I got to watch 1 launch, last spring nighttime or early morning, it was awesome. Good pics. Thanks.
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Old 07-05-11, 09:24 PM   #3
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There's not too many, okay none, that are excited about the last launch around here!

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Old 07-05-11, 09:44 PM   #4
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Very cool!
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Old 07-05-11, 09:47 PM   #5
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I remember where I was on 9/11, and I remember where I was when the Challenger accident happened.
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Old 07-05-11, 09:54 PM   #6
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I wanted to be a Space Shuttle pilot soooooo badly when I was in high school in the early 1070s. The Shuttle hadn't even been built yet, but that's what I wanted to do.

Sadly I never got into space, but I am very thankful that I at least got to live at at the dawn of the Space Age.

Okay Scotty, beam me up.
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Old 07-06-11, 08:31 AM   #7
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It will be a sad day for sure. I am about as anti-big-government as there is but think the shuttle program is something we all should be proud of. Wish I could be there to see it but it is a looooooong drive for something that is not a definite to take place, due to weather and all.
Thanks for the pics!

I was in contact lens lab class in optometry school when I heard about Challenger. It ate a whole in my heart. God bless those people and their families and friends for their loss.
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Old 07-06-11, 11:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing the photos. What time is the launch scheduled Friday?
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Old 07-06-11, 11:25 AM   #9
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Insanely jealous...
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Old 07-06-11, 01:40 PM   #10
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I was a cook in St. Pete Fl (Brown Derby)when the 1st launch was going on. Five of us piled into a beater car and drove all night after work to Coco Beach to watch it take off the next day...good times. I still have the "Shuttle maina" t-shirt!
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Old 07-06-11, 07:08 PM   #11
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Too bad that this launch is not attracting the media's attention. A little sad really.
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Old 07-06-11, 07:16 PM   #12
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I've driven from Tampa to the Space Coast several times for the shuttle launch but only got to see one as the others kept getting canceled. Watching one go up on TV just does not do it justice. The experience of hearing the rumble and the ground shaking 10+ miles away is just unbelievable. Great photos, by the way.
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Old 07-06-11, 10:47 PM   #13
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Thanks for sharing the photos. What time is the launch scheduled Friday?
About 11:40 a.m. One report said there might be a million people coming into the county for the launch. Should be quite a circus.
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Old 07-06-11, 10:52 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=John_V;12890338Great photos, by the way.[/QUOTE]

A tourist took these at my request and emailed them to me. I only had my iPhone, which isn't so good for taking photos of something that distant. Just for kicks, here is a repost of a few photo I got at the rollout of Atlantis a few weeks ago. This was truly an amazing sight:





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Old 07-07-11, 05:27 AM   #15
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Next time you go back, you can get us pics of the spoonbill and perhaps the pelicans scimming the water. I used to like those short cutouts on that road. Lots of good things to see.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:07 AM   #16
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K-bach I'm going to miss your pictures.

In the mid-70's I was stationed at Ellington AFB during the mid 70's. Skylab had just ended. A bunch of us all jogged together sometimes, but I really don't remember them by name. They had much better facilities just down the road at NASA. The T38's, a B57, and the Vomit Comet were still at Ellington then.

I always wanted to see a launch. Maybe I'll still be around for the next evolution of travel.
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Old 07-07-11, 04:21 PM   #17
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We were there several years ago and you are right, there is nothing like being there for the event. Pictures are great, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-07-11, 05:03 PM   #18
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I remember where I was on 9/11, and I remember where I was when the Challenger accident happened.
I'd imagine that most of us on this forum also remember where we were on Jul 21, 1969 when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon. Many of us will also remember May 1961 when Alan Shepard became the first american to go into space. Saturday will mark the first day in 50 years that the United states has not had the capability to launch a man into space.
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Old 07-07-11, 07:46 PM   #19
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'61, '69, yep.
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Old 07-08-11, 03:04 PM   #20
Kurt Erlenbach
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Saturday will mark the first day in 50 years that the United states has not had the capability to launch a man into space.
Not quite right. After the last moon mission in 1972, there were three Apollo missions to Skylab in 1973 and 74. Then Apollo ended, and there were no manned US space missions until the first shuttle launch in 1981. So there was a gap of about 7 years after Apollo and before shuttle. There also was a 3-year gap after Challenger in 1986 and 2 years after Columbia in 2003.

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Old 07-08-11, 03:19 PM   #21
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The launches are not something that I have noted. On TV they are not very remarkable but to be on the spot at the launch--WOW.

But I used to fly R/C gliders and when I saw the First landing- That was it. I have tried to follow the space program ever since- if only for those landings.
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