Our launch (x2!) trip ended up being twice as long as we expected – we left early due to weather, each launch slipped by a day, and then we stayed late to avoid the post-snow airport rush. And in the end? We still had a fiasco on the flights home due to a maintenance issue with one of the planes. Yes, we dodged the impact of Clusterflake 2010 on our travel plans and ended up crammed into two middle seats because of a broken plane. And on Valentine’s Day, thoroughly ruining the surprise I’d cooked up with first class seats and replacing it with frantic phone calls. Now I’m fighting with the airline to get back the miles I spent on that gift.
I’ve posted Nick’s video from the space shuttle night launch at the start of the entry. I really can’t add much with words – it was just phenomenal. It was completely worth the sleepless nights, freezing our asses off because Florida is having a crazy cold winter, stuck in insane traffic moving 6mph (for two hours), and searching for a public restroom at 5AM with such intense desperation that I may have actually cried. TOTALLY WORTH IT. I am 100% serious.
The rocket launch was also amazing, though far less physically impressive. We did get a very unusual and special moment – which you can see in this video. Mostly, this launch was special because of my connections with the satellite and the people who have worked on it. I touched it before it went into space! Seeing it go up, surrounded by the people who made it happen, was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.