I realized I hadn’t space geeked out in a while in the blog, and tomorrow’s Pi Day (3.14) is such a great opportunity to remedy that. I have not one but two space shuttle stories to share with you today. They both took place when I was living in Florida.
One weekend I was hanging out in my apartment. I had stepped into the kitchen to get something to drink when I heard a deep, loud boom. My California girl instincts kicked in, and I was braced in the doorway – my thankfully unopened soda can rolling away from me. That booming sound was always the start of some really fierce ground movement.
Once I noticed the ground wasn’t moving and my heart rate came down enough for me to think clearly, I realized that the odds of a major earthquake in Florida were slim. Then I remembered that the space shuttle was returning that day … thus creating a sonic boom. I laughed, got up, and put my now dented soda can back in the fridge and pulled out a fresh one that wouldn’t explode upon opening.
Shortly thereafter, although I wasn’t at all into space at this point in my life, I recognized what an incredible opportunity I was facing when I saw that there would be a night launch of the space shuttle. I had to go.
After taking a short nap, got up, bundled up, and started my hour plus drive out to see the launch. I don’t remember how I figured out where to park, but there were hundreds of us standing outside our cars as the launch time neared.
Someone had the countdown blasting from his car radio. As it hit zero, there was a bright light upon the horizon.
It looked like dawn. I remember thinking, “Oh good, it will start to warm up now!” Then I laughed when I realized it wasn’t really dawn – it just looked that way.
From our vantage point, our group of strangers was able to see the shuttle in its upward trajectory. I stayed until the last hint of light had disappeared from the night sky. I then battled the traffic back home and collapsed into bed.
Although I was incredibly tired at work the next day, it was so worth it!
Have you ever done any space geeking out? or Have your instincts ever kicked in in an inappropriate situation?