Launching projects for clients; launching new public relations and marketing campaigns.
But this is the launch that I will truly remember for the rest of my life — the glorious escape Endeavour made from Earth on Monday, May 16th at 8:56 a.m. ET.
It was, as they say, the experience of a lifetime. From our vantage point, 3 short miles away, the earth shook, the sky filled with smoke and our eyes filled with tears.
Watching Endeavour exit Earth, knowing that the people on board were part of the small fraternity that can claim to have seen space…it was overwhelming and emotional for all of us.
Of the 150 of us invited out to the first launch attempt, about 90 of us came back for attempt #2. As part of the weekend’s events, we were invited out to watch the RSS retraction from just outside the launch pad:
Then had a very early wakeup call on Monday to wave goodbye to the astronauts as they headed to the launch pad…a thrilling experience!
And finally, at 8:56 a.m., even as we counted down…
…we thought about the fact that the start of this mission is really the beginning of the end for Endeavour and the manned shuttle missions overall. It’s bittersweet — so many people have devoted their lives and careers in pursuit of space travel, and there’s no question that the program has changed our country’s history. But times goes on and new missions are set.
And just as quickly as the launch happened, it was over…with Endeavour leaving only a trail of smoke behind it.
It’s hard to find the right words to describe my Endeavour experience. Unique. Life-changing. Inspirational. They all apply, but they just don’t seem BIG or BOLD enough.
I’ve learned through working at Growing Bolder that the key to a happy and fulfilled life is having a dream. It was a dream to see a shuttle launch up close, and the reality did not disappoint.
Have you seen a shuttle launch in person, or do you watch on TV? What are your thoughts on the impending end of the manned space shuttle program?