Monday, April 5, 2010

Window on space history

Anyone who was up just before sunrise this morning and looked northeast from Bradenton saw something awe-inspiring coming up over the horizon.

It was one of the final scheduled launches of the space shuttle. Only three more are planned.

With crystal clear skies, we were able to see a fleck of gold that soon turned into a long streak of gold-colored exhaust. As the shuttle climbed higher into the sky, the contrail turned silver and eventually, it became a fast moving star headed north.

Yep, I was awestruck, standing in front of my house in my pajamas as a jogger padded down my street. I wanted to shout at him to turn around and look at the launch.

Bob Slater, visiting his mom, Joanne Bacher, in East Manatee from Las Vegas, captured a shot of the shuttle's dissipating contrail. Bob, in town for his mom's 75th birthday, claims if you look at the contrail hard enough, you can see "75" in it. I don't know. Take a look.

Anyway, good luck to our astronauts. And we'd like to wish Joanne a happy birthday.


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