|Re: (OT) Discovery over DC|
Message #10 Posted by Richard Ottosen (Denver) on 20 Apr 2012, 1:24 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by David Tellet
I have been fortunate enough to see two launches and two landings.
For me, the landing I saw at Rogers dry lake bed near Mojave California was the most exciting. Yes, the sheer power of the launch is awe inspiring but there was much more drama to the landing.
My friend Bill and I had flown to Florida for the launch of STS2 and
watched it launch from a causeway from outside Titusville about 12 miles from the launch pad.
We then flew across the country and watched it land! There were an
estimated 250,000 to 400,000 people there to see the landing. This was quite impressive since the Shuttle flight had been cut short and you needed a ticket to get onto the viewing site.
The landing was expected for about 1:30 in the afternoon. Sometime
before the expected landing time, a pair of T-33 (???) jet fighter
planes flew over. These were used to check for clear skies and weather conditions, I think. We figured that if we just watched them we could see where the Shuttle would be coming from. Well, these planes flew over and then disappeared over the horizon and never came back into view.
While scanning the skies trying to spot the Shuttle, I noticed that more and more of the crowd was looking the same direction. When I looked that direction, I could see the vapor trail from the Shuttle. A short time later, there was a double sonic boom and the crowd let out a cheer -- very emotional.
The Shuttle then did a 270 degree turn and landed about 2 miles from us.