Coast to Coast: STS-129 Launch

I went over to Titusville today to videotape the STS-129 launch. Click Here to watch the launch. You need Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection to watch.

Regarding the screaming kid in the background … Some parents turned loose their two-year old to play on the rocks down by the river. A couple minutes before launch, he throws his toy dump truck into the river, and as it floats away he starts screaming that he lost his dump truck. Being a two-year old, of course, nothing is going to make him happy, not even after someone fished out his dump truck. He kept screaming all the way through the launch. Gee, thanks.

A reminder when you watch the video that the speed of sound is roughly 1,100 feet per second. If you time from the moment of launch until you first hear the roar of the engines, we’re roughly about 10-12 miles from the launch pad.

You’ll also notice a tall crane between the pad and the Vehicle Assembly Building. That’s for a new platform that will one day carry Constellation to the launch pad. The future of Constellation, however, is up in the air, no pun intended.

An unmanned rocket was supposed to launch on November 14 but had a last-minute glitch, so it was rolled back to its assembly building. No ETA on that one.

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