Tuesday, July 04, 2006

And the Rocket's Red Glare...

UPDATE: Even North Korea couldn't stop this baby. (heh...)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Space shuttle Discovery rocketed safely into orbit on its first Independence Day launch, despite concerns over damage from foam debris.

After lifting off at 2:38 p.m. ET, Discovery disappeared within seconds into a clear blue sky. "I can't think of a better place to be here on the Fourth of July," shuttle commander Steven Lindsey said to the launch control team before liftoff. "We hope very soon to get you a close up and personal look at the rockets' red glare."

If successful, Discovery's 12-day mission will mark another phase in NASA's recovery from the Columbia accident in 2003. The shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry, killing the crew of seven. The mission, the second since the accident, also will restore a crew of three to the International Space Station. Crews were cut to two after the accident.


The view from the beach was great with the naked-eye...I tried my best with my camera. Those will come later along with video of the launch courtesy of NASA. For now, enjoy these from the pros- Click for the High-Resolution version:

Credit: NASA/George Shelton

Credit to: NASA/Gianni Woods

Also a few from Richard King...from his location, these shots are amazing.

Take a look at this shot of the separation:

As I said before, later today I'll post the pictures I took, along with video direct from NASA.