Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Be safe, astronauts.

The shuttle Discovery made it safely to orbit not too long ago.

Stay safe, OK?

I'll admit, shuttle launches make me nervous -- especially near the throttle-up where the Challenger began to break up 20 years ago -- and this time I didn't really breathe easy until after the external tank fell away. (I watched that for the first time from an on-tank camera, and yes, THAT was neat.)

But even when the first post-Challenger launch had happened in 1988, and I knew that the shuttle had reached orbit safely, I still got scared watching the replay. Something that looked like misdirected thruster fire seemed to be coming from the side of the launch vehicle, before the boosters jettisoned. I don't remember if that was an optical illusion, or an atmospheric effect, but I remember it looked disconcertingly like the thrust peeking out from the booster's side that caused the loss of the Challenger.

But the launch has happened, the shuttle is in orbit, and I hope all things keep looking good.

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