I live in Florida, only along the West Coast (or
left coast) of Florida. As is typical for
shuttle launches, people come out of (the
woodwork) their residences and workplaces to
witness the launch of the Space Shuttle, whether
it's 1 mile or 200 miles away.
At "T" minus 10 seconds or less, it's
a race into the streets to see who can get the
best view of the launch, in spite of the tall
trees, clouds and grouchy neighbors.
Where our neighborhood is located we're about
160 miles as the crow flies to the launch pad.
On a clear day you can see forever (reminds me
of a song). In other words, you can see the
plume of smoke trailing behind the rocket, the
stream of fire coming out of the rocket, and the
reflection of the sun off of the rocket. The
rocket looks like a whisker on fire from our
vantage point. It's very small, but what do you
want from 160 miles away?
I've driven over to the Space Coast on several
occasions for previous Space Shuttle launches
only to be disappointed when the thing didn't go
off. It's about a three hour drive for nothing
when that happens. Therefore, I have never seen
a launch from the Space Coast, only from the
Suncoast, 160 miles away.
As usual, some neighbors are new to the
neighborhood and have never witnessed a launch
from 160 miles away. Of course, I, being the
veteran of all Space Shuttle launches from 160
miles away, am the professional, long-distance
Space Shuttle launch expert and guide.
My new neighbor is standing out there with his
video camera to film the launch from 160 miles
away. LOL! From here the Space Shuttle launch
looks like a commercial jet (ONLY SMALLER!!!)
with a smoke trail flying at 30,000 to 40,000
feet, only instead of the smoke trail going
across the sky, the smoke trail tends to lean up
and down as one would expect.
Then, we hear one of the neighbors working in
his yard using a power tool and the daughter of
the neighbor filming the launch, yells out,
"I hear it! I hear it!" LOL!
Then, the wife of the neighbor filming the
launch, and mother of the daughter yelling
"I hear it!" says, "Oh, I see it!
I see it! Do you see it?" As the wife and
mother points out a commercial jet flying high
overhead in the direction of Miami. LOL!
I said to the mother, "It looks like you're
looking in the wrong direction. It's over
there!" As I pointed it out to her over the
horizon. LOL! It was much more on the horizon,
than overhead. I should have kept my mouth shut
and let her think the jet was the Space Shuttle.
See what you're missing by not living in
Copyright Stephen Kramer
p.s. - Space Shuttle Launch No.
115. Are we there yet?
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In addition to writing humor, Kramer is a
cartoonist. Visit his website StephenKramer.com
where you will find over 360 original,
award-winning cartoons as well as additional