How I did it: I had an opportunity in 1982 to go to the beach right by Cape Canaveral and watch a launch and I foolishly missed it. Later that same year, I actually watched a launch from Orlando, which made me wish even more that I had seen it from closer. No shuttles are launching anymore, so a friend and I drove out to Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia Eastern Shore last month and watched a launch of a Terrier-improved Malamute for a suborbital flight and then on Friday, I drove out again with my family and watched a Minotaur V lift the LADEE experiment to the moon. I still wish I had seen the launch in 1982, but this will have to do. Read how I did it… 2 months ago
as it was going up, which was really neat, but not the same as being there.
(Original comment was 2005; updating in 2013: )
And we’ll have to call that good enough.
Seeing the launch from the plane’s as close as I’ll get, so I’ll call it done. (Completion date’s inaccurate; not sure what year that was.) 8 years ago
How I did it: No, I never was at Cape Canaveral and I never actually saw a space shuttle blast off, but I decided to redefine what this goal really meant and being able to see the Space Shuttle flying and on the ground up close certainly is more incredible that watching a lift off from miles away..
I was very happy to be part of this piece of history of Endeavor coming to Los Angeles. Read how I did it… 13 months ago
The last flight of any of the original Space Shuttles was yesterday and I got to see Endeavor fly right over the Rockwell Aviation plant where it was built just minutes before it landed for the last time in Los Angeles. Even through the plant has been closed for years, a full scale model of a space shuttle as well as the Columbia Memorial Discovery Center is well worth a visit to Downey, California.
“Watch a space shuttle” is close enough without a launch, so this goal is complete in my eyes! 14 months ago
How I did it: A friend of mine was trying to sell 2 tickets a couple of days before the last Space Shuttle Endeavor STS-134 launch in April 2011 because she could not go anymore. I jumped on it and purchased them immediately as they were only $50 each and included bus transportation!! I was lucky to grab them first because other people wanted them too later. We would see the launch from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
While waiting for the Saturday afternoon launch in April, my friend and I got to have fun at the KSC Visitor Complex. We met one teacher from the Philippines who had saved all his money for years just to see the shuttle launch and show his students. There were people from all over the country. My friend and I were lucky to live only a 4-hour drive away. When we heard the mission got scrubbed just 2 hours before the launch time, my friend and I agreed to renew the bus ticket for an additional $35 each.
Fast forward to May; the new launch date is May 16, 2011 at 8:56AM! The KSC bus will pick us up from the hotel at 2AM! I drive 4 hours again and get ready for our night adventure. The bus picks us both up and drops us off at KSC at 4AM. Here's the cool part....The KSC Visitor Complex is open and running at night! It is a sight to see the Rocket Garden when it has a moon above it. People are in sleeping bags everywhere. I see the Hubble 3D IMAX movie again at 4:30AM at NASA. I am so thankful for getting to experience KSC during the day in April and then at night/early morning in May.
After the sun rises, we scout out a viewing spot underneath a giant rocket booster still glistening with morning dew in front of the Visitor Complex. I feel like I am in a dream. I am really here. On NASA grounds, waiting to see the space shuttle Endeavor blast off into space. And then.......8:55am.....8:56am....we shout the 10 second countdown...T-minus 2! T-minus 1! BOOM! Lift off!
Best day of my life.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110518.html Read how I did it… 21 months ago
I grew up in FL so I’ve seen the launch both close up in Coco Beach and in my hometown. I saw the Challenger blow up outside my bedroom window when I was about 10. Sad. 22 months ago
I tried hard to do this, made the trip to cape canaveral, but the launch got delayed til after my flight left. But I am happy I tried 2 years ago
I won’t give up on this goal yet, but obviously the last NASA space shuttle mission has already finished and my goal is in limbo now. I know the last shuttle will be coming to Los Angeles. I will keep tabs on what is happening in the decommissioning of the shuttles.
Listening to David Bowie “Space Oddity” 2 years ago
I flew down to Florida last Thursday, met up with some friends, and hauled ass to Titusville. We watched from the Gemini Hall of Fame Walk, right next to Space View Park.
Although we were 13 miles away from Launch Pad 39A, it was still an amazing sight and so much fun to bond with all the characters who’d also traveled from far and wide to witness the final space shuttle launch.
For those of you who missed it, I recommend tuning in to NASA TV over the next several days, until the shuttle lands on July 21. There are still so many amazing things you can witness during this mission! http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html 2 years ago