We Have Liftoff!!!
This morning at 10:39 the Space Shuttle Discovery tookoff from Kennedy Space Center marking the 'return to flight' for the space shuttle program. This was the first launch since the February 2003 Columbia tragedy. NASA ground personnel will now pour over launch video and sensor readouts, while astronauts conduct space-walk inspections to ensure no damage was done to the shuttle during launch.
I actually missed the launch, but watched the video online after the fact. I am amazed that something that I've watched so many times in my life can still be so awe inspiring. To see the shuttle take off, I always hear the words spoken by Ronald Reagan following the Challenger explosion (my earliest memory of the space program):
The Surly Bonds of Earth...
Put Out My Hand
And Touched the Face of God"
-John Gillespie Magee
All eyes will be on them as they return to Earth in 12 days.CNN: NASA Astronauts Return To Spaceflight
MSNBC: Space Shuttle Takes Off On Historic Flight
Tags: Discovery, Shuttle, Space Shuttle, Nasa, Liftoff, Challenger, Magee