Space Shuttle Discovery STS-128 launch (Update: it was a real winner.)


34 Responses to “Space Shuttle Discovery STS-128 launch (Update: it was a real winner.)”

  1. Rindan says:

    Watching a shuttle take off is one of those things that if you ever get the chance to do, you should. There is nothing that can prepare you for it. I watched the shuttle take off by accident a few years ago. I was in Florida and all of a sudden the traffic pulled over and people stopped. I looked up, and the shuttle was taking off on the horizon.

    Even at the distance I was from the launch, it was fucking nock-your-socks-off breath taking. TV really doesn’t do it justice. Your puny human mind can’t wrap around how absurdly big the shuttle is and the fact that it is flying straight up despite being the size of a building. You could even see people getting choked up a little (I among them). When you are watching the shuttle take off you can’t help but behold it and think “Wow. Humans kick ass”.

    Yeah, the shuttle program might be absurdly bloated, the shuttle itself might be an expensive piece of shit, and NASA might have developed a schizophrenic relationship with safety, but that doesn’t change the fact that a fucking building sized spaceship is going straight up in the air on a plume of fire to go hang out in an environment so hostile that only humans and a few hibernating bacteria can go there and live. Like I said, it is awesome to the point of almost being religious.

  2. Francesco Fondi says:

    it’s not like being there, but I suggest to follow NASA:

    and watching the first series of “Defying Gravity”: a small masterpiece of SCI-FI TV!

  3. Lotusmonger says:

    Orange suits aside, that is one good looking flight crew. Are you sure they aren’t going to detonate a nuke on an incoming comet?

  4. KurtMac says:

    I had tickets for the KSC Causeway for the launch in Feb. but it got pushed back to March so I missed it.

    As luck would have it, this time I was on vacation in Florida but on the opposite side of the state! I viewed it from the 6th floor balcony of our hotel on St. Pete Beach. It was breathtaking, I had no idea the view would be so nice to view from such distance!

    I’m from Illinois, so this is the first time I saw a launch with my own eyes. Its tough for non-Floridians to see a launch, given the unpredictable variables that can alter launch schedules by days… weeks… months. But after this I’m going to NEED to try again and again to get tickets to see a launch from up close before they retire the fleet!

  5. Tagishsimon says:

    Good suggestion, although the sound is about 6 seconds out of synch with the video, which is bound to be a bit more strange in about 8 minutes…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Xeni! That was fun!

  7. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Five decades in the space business and NASA still hasn’t figured out that nobody looks good in orange.

  8. fataltourist says:

    I love space shuttle.

  9. bugmaker says:

    Great launch! Thanks for the timely tip! Sound was perfect, too.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A textbook launch. Here’s to wishing for the rest of the mission to go as well. What a rush.

  11. Tagishsimon says:

    Yup, that was good.

  12. Argyle says:

    Thanks Xeni. I cry everytime I see one of those. Good timing!

  13. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    Nice! And Ireland, keeping the uplink hot too!

    See, we helped the mission :)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Five decades in the space business and NASA still hasn’t figured out that nobody looks good in orange.

    I’d assume they’re not supposed to look good in orange, they’re supposed to look highly visible e.g. bobbling in the water after some sort of horrible disaster over the middle of the Atlantic.

  15. Simon Bradshaw says:

    Just saw Discovery and the separated External Tank pass though the pre-dawn sky over London – two bright stars, one white and the other a very clear orange, about twice the width of the Moon apart.

    (To match orbits with the Space Station, the Shuttle launches on a trajectory that takes it over the southern UK about twenty minutes after lift-off. If it’s early dawn or late dusk here at the time, it’s possible to see the Orbiter and ET as they pass overhead.)

  16. TEKNA2007 says:

    Five decades in the space business and NASA still hasn’t figured out that nobody looks good in orange.

    And yet, our astronauts choose to suffer through it and soldier on. Now that’s dedication. :)

  17. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    Oh anonymous! Have you no sense of flair?

    So maybe they’de be harder to see, but you know how great they’d look, stepping into the dock in deep blue, Crimpleneâ„¢ leisure suits, with gold lamé trim, complete in matching gloves and slippers.


  18. TEKNA2007 says:

    Argyle#8: I cry everytime I see one of those.

    Good to know I’m not the only one. It kinda gets you right there.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I hear Gaultier is designing the next mission’s spacesuits.


  20. Stefan Jones says:

    Be sure to post the inevitable Lou Dobbs rant about Spanish Space Tweets.
    * * *

    One of the selling points of “Space: 1999″ was that the moon base costumes were created by some high-priced designer.

  21. infinity says:

    TEKNA2007 and ARGYLE. yeah, me too. it totally does.

    fwiw, a number of us from work meetup at the international space museum to watch the launch in second life at . if you have an computer with a reasonable graphics card, join us for the next one!

    there’s also a group at the NASA CoLab / Neil Armstrong Library next door that does the same thing; usually with conversation and storytelling afterwards. i _almost_ got to tell my “and i looked out the hotel window and realized it was the shuttle” story.

  22. planettom says:

    Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (C.O.L.B.E.R.T.) en route to ISS. “I’m so proud my treadmill will be going into space to help trim down those famously fat astronauts. Lay off the Tang, Chubby!” -Stephen Colbert

  23. Anonymous says:

    i watched the launch at in HD quality. Who want to watch the standard quality can stay with spaceflightnow, but who wants awsome HD quality should come over to

  24. TEKNA2007 says:

    The lamé totally works for me, but I’m going to vote for head-to-toe. Think Rocky Horror climbing out of his tank,

    except with winged heels and diagonal-cut gloves up to the elbow, and with all-over coverage for that whole annoying space-is-a-vaccuum thing (how rude).

  25. Anonymous says:

    I watched the launch on SpaceVidcast.

    Good luck, Discovery, I love space travel!

  26. 3hecatl says:

    As a Mexican it’s great to see someone like José Hernández doing such an incredible thing as this, even if his family had to go to the US to give him the opportunity.

    It also helps that he’s the spitting image of a typical Mexican, seriously, he couldn’t look any more Mexican if he tried. Also good to see a moreno “Mexican” rising higher than the usual güeros.
    (I’m a güero, btw)

  27. mdh says:

    colbert ftw!

  28. imipak says:

    I managed to get up at 4:50am (UK summer time) and also remembered to wander outside, look up into the southern sky and also see the orbiter and external tank sailing majest here in the UK,ically across the sky – it goes over about 18-20 minutes after lift off, when flying to the ISS.

    There are only six more chances to see a Shuttle launch until the fleet is decommissioned and parked in various national museums. Get your kids, remind your neighbours. After that there are five years, at a minimum, before NASA next launch humans. (The ISS crew rotations will be via the Russian Soyuz.)

    And finally, I FAR prefer the NASATV HD stream to amateur talking heads getting in the way of the action:

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