05.14.11

Back in Florida!

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 4:40 pm by Rebekah

Well, I’m back in DeLand, Florida for NASA Tweetup Redux, as many are calling it.

If all goes well, those of us invited to the Tweetup a couple weeks ago will get to watch the retraction of the Rotating Service Structure (wraps around the shuttle) around noon tomorrow, from about 600 yards away! This is what I was waiting up for (and never saw) the night I saw this incredible shelf cloud over the Vehicle Assembly Building.

I have to arrive around 11 am (times are all EDT) and will be back at the press site by about 1:30 pm.

Then I’m going to have to get up really early Monday morning for the launch. The launch is scheduled for 8:56 am, but if we want to be there to see the astronauts drive by in the astrovan (and not turn around, as they did the last time I was there!), I need to be there no later than 5 am. It takes about an hour and a half from where I’m staying to the Cape, so you do the math…

There is a frontal squall line rolling through Florida at present; hopefully there will not be any lingering, morning thunderstorms on Monday. We also need storm-free weather tomorrow for the RSS retraction.

I flew through Atlanta today, and we had about a 20 – 30 minute delay in air (to Orlando), as we had to fly around thunderstorms on the Florida Coast. We flew out over the Atlantic for a little ways before circling back around. It was still a rather turbulent landing, though. After I picked up my rental car, I drove through some torrential downpours to get here.

I’ll continue to tweet/facebook about the launch and launch plans over the next couple of days.

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