Watching A Space Shuttle Launch

STS-127 Launch

One of my most treasured memories is having the opportunity to witness two space shuttle launches. The photo above is one I took with my old point and shoot camera of STS-127. Even from approximately 5 miles away, the sound of the launch was incredible. You can no longer see a space shuttle launch. However, thanks to the wonder that is the innerwebs, you can see one virtually. Hit the jump, crank up the speakers, and pretend you’re in Florida.

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[Image Credit: Dustin May/Atomic Toasters, copyright 2013]

  • CopterBob

    I was also fortunate enough to be able to watch a couple of the Shuttle launches up close–as close as they allowed prior to the Challenger tragedy–and after all this time there's still no way to adequately describe the awesome emotions evoked. I also had luck as a kid in being able to watch two of the Saturn V moon launches up close. (It pays to have friends who had Dads that worked for NASA!) I remember being stunned by the sound waves when they hit, just like someone slapping you rapidly and incessantly in the chest for what seemed like minutes. While the shuttles were impressive, the Saturns were utterly jawdropping.

    • Number_Six

      A shuttle launch is by far the greatest non-natural thing I've ever seen, so I imagine Saturn V launches must have been incredible.

    • That's what I was told. One of the old timers I worked with told me to take the shuttle launch and multiply it by 10. 10 times the sound, pressure, and light.

      The second shuttle launch I saw (not the one pictured) was a night launch from the closes viewing area civilians have access to. It was pretty awesome. One of my friends is occasionally on the rescue crew. If he had been on that night I would have been about 2 miles closer.

  • Elliott

    In the early 90's, while on deployment at MacDill AFB, I had the opportunity to observe a shuttle lift off. As impressive as it was viewing from Tampa, FL, I can only imagine what an awesome experience it must have been to be within 5 miles!

  • Victor

    These old posts are great.