Tuesday, April 17, 2012

They’ll Take Back My Card

If there was a Space Flight Geek card, NASA would take mine back today. I knew the Shuttle Discovery was being flown into Dulles Airport near Washington DC today but I didn’t go anywhere to see it. It circled parts of the DC area for an hour before finally landing. It even flew over the suburban town where I work; I was in the building at the time and didn’t realize it had flown nearby till I saw a co-worker’s picture of it on Facebook. That’s his shot with this post, not mine. I could have taken one with my iPhone like he did; but even better, I could have taken photographs with my “good” camera. None of that occurred to me until it was too late.

What kind of space flight geek am I anyway? How could I not act on this stuff today? That bruise on my butt is from me kicking myself in the ass for missing yet another opportunity to see a Space Shuttle in flight. What I really wanted to do for years was visit Florida for a launch. I was on their email list and knew well in advance every time. I could have purchased premiere viewing area tickets. But there was always some obstacle, like lack of funds or schedule conflicts. But today would have been free and the Shuttle came to me. I could have gone to Dulles to see it up close like another co-worker did. Ugh.

The eventual home for Discovery is the National Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center, which is basically the suburban Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. There were so many aviation objects in the original Air & Space Museum in downtown DC, that they built this second one near Dulles to house the really huge aircraft like the Shuttle that don’t fit in the main one. You know I will go there to see this thing up close.

Maybe they’ll return my Space Flight Geek card.

Meanwhile, here is some raw CBS video of the flight over DC and the landing.

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