Anticipation…Excitement…Once In a Lifetime Experience: Final Endeavour Launch STS134

I am extremely excited to witness what could possibly be the last shuttle launch. In two days time Endeavour (sts-134) will be lifting off for it’s last mission. During Endeavour’s 14 day mission it will make one final trip to the International Space Station to deliver the Express Logistics Carrier-3, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS), a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for the Dextre robotic helper. This is truly a momentous occasion, as the endeavor will retire after a 19 year career, first launching May 1992. Endeavour was the last of the space shuttle fleet to be built (ship number 5) and was built to replace the Challenger shuttle.

I am not the only one who is waiting in anticipation for this once in a lifetime event. Over half a million people have flocked from all over the world to be witness as the final launch of the Endeavor. Today was my first day in the Space Coast region of Florida and I met both a family from Great Britain and a couple from Australia. The British family had brought their three-year-old son, whilst the Australian couple flew 18 hours to get here. These people represent only a small portion of the, for lack of better words, great migration to Florida.

My day tomorrow will include a Space Camp alumni tweetup as well as a tour of Kennedy space center. At the alumni breakfast/tweet up I will get to meet up with other Space Camp graduates. This is similar to but on a smaller scale than the tweetup that my mother will be attending. The NASA tweetup (which I was not allowed into due to age restrictions) will be made up of 150 twitter geeks. I am so jealous that they will be receiving a behind the scenes tour of the launch site as well as viewing seats next to the count down clock.

The shuttle launch is not only a matter of American pride and interest, but also an international event. I look forward to hearing the many different languages at Kennedy Space Center tomorrow and Friday. As well meeting people from all over the world who have come to bear witness to this historic event. I am excited to be one of the representatives of my generation, the Mars Generation, to attend the launch and share it with all of you.

More to come!

THE NUMBERS (Prior to STS-134) These are from NASA.com website
Total miles traveled: 116,372,930
Total time in space: 283 Total orbits: 4,423 Total flights: 24
Total crew members: 167 Mir dockings: 1
International Space Station visits: 11

Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, you’re so lucky! I want to see a shuttle launch too, but I live in Japan and my next trip to the US will be a long time later, so I guess I’m too late 🙁
    I guess it’ll be really exciting.
    oh, and can I put a link to this blog on mine? If it’s okay, what should I write for the description?

  2. I think it is cool how you are meeting people from other parts of the country and from other countries. Friday will be an exciting day. I can’t wait to hear about it.

  3. Abby! Another teacher showed me your blog. Nice writing, this was fun to read! Have fun tomorrow at the launch! – Ms. Hjalmquist

  4. Very cool. It’s terrific you get to have this experience, not just seeing the launch, but meeting people from all over the world. Mr. N-W

  5. Well Abby, the date you refer to above has past and the Attempt was Scrubbed on that day and one more time since then. However, all seems well for a NEW LAUNCH ATTEMPT on either the 8th or 10th of May. We all hope & pray that it will happen. We all envy you as you attend the Launch. You a certainly ONE LUCKY GIRL.

  6.  Abby…Urgent Message: Re First Paragraph in This BLOG  …  ENDEAVOUR was built to replace CHALLENGER Not COLUMBIA shuttle. ….. The US Congress authorized construction of Endeavour in 1987 to replace Challenger, which was lost in the STS-51-L launch accident in 1986.   ……..    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Endeavour ….. Columbia Disaster was in 2003 (Burnup on Re-Entry)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster

  7.  Abby,
    I thought I’d let you know something cool: when I was searching for an image of the STS 134 mission patch on Google AND on Google Images, the image you have on this post came up as the 3rd one!!!  That is an AMAZING rank, Abby!  You will probably get some extra traffic for that!  😀

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