04 November 2010

Dateline: Titusville, Florida, 4 November 2010

Yeah, the best laid plans...
We intended to come to Titusville Sunday night to view the Monday launch with newly-met friends. Tracking down and fixing a fuel leak canceled the launch Monday and the launch was rescheduled for Wednesday. We started driving South from Destin Tuesday morning to be rested for that Wednesday afternoon launch after spending the night with friends we have met here in Titusville via the internet. Six hours into that drive we heard the news the Wednesday launch had also been scrubbed due to electrical glitches.
No matter... that just gave us more time to get to know our new friends better.

I was introduced to Mary Lou by another virtual friend, Andrea Shea King. The world of helicopters is a small one. Mary Lou's brother Herb was killed while on a mission flying a helicopter gunship in November of 1969. Herb's unit was based at the South end of Chu Lai, the same base where I served my tour in Viet Nam. One of my close friends and flight-school buddy, Vic, was in Herb's unit and knew him well. Communicating with Mary Lou via email, I knew pretty much what to expect before she opened her door to welcome us into her beautiful home Tuesday evening.

We've had a great visit. I hope Mary Lou will be able to say the therapy she received from our visit was as healing as what I have felt while being here sharing memories and talking about mutual friends.

We took advantage of the day yesterday to go to Kennedy Space Center and walk around the museum there. If you are in this area and are interested in the Space program I heartily recommend the museum... you can easily spend an entire day there soaking up all the exhibits.

We went to bed last night expecting the launch to take place today (Thursday) at 1529 hours. This morning dawned gray and rainy and the forecast stinks, so they've scrubbed the launch once again and scheduled it for tomorrow.
We've run out of time. We'll be returning to Destin today, disappointed.

But we've gained wonderful new friends who have invited us to come back down for another try.
We'll certainly consider a drive down in the future for what may be, (please Lord, let our leaders realize what a mistake this is!), the last shuttle launch, in 2011.
Are we, as a country, really gonna do this?
We've been the world leader in Space exploration. Will we hand the baton to the Russians and Chinese with a smile?
I hope not.
If you agree, it's time to let your new Congress hear your thoughts!


ddf said...

Even though I was enrolled as an Engineering Student, every Freshmen was forced to take Speech 101. Mine compared Space exploration to the exploration of the New World. Spain was a world leader then, but wars and internal politics forced her to hand her leadership over to the Brits...with a smile.

Timothy Frazier said...

That's why I bought my own Rocket from the British.

Seriously, though, it is a shame, and the entire world has benefited from the US space program, not to mention the extra pride all of us (excepting Michelle Obama, of course) have had in our country ever since we landed the first man, an American, on the moon.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

If NASA wants to consider a new vehicle, I say fine.

But the shuttles themselves are so ancient and decrepit, I cannot feature pouring cash into them -- nor can I, Holy Shit, envision my own very personal body stepping into one of them.