I remember watching the Space Shuttle launch shortly before my tenth birthday, at a small school in the Essex countryside. The sun was shining outside as we gazed in amazement at the school television, it had buttons on the front and 3 channels. It was soon after we had a visit from an American basketball team from Weathersfield Airbase, the biggest people we’d ever seen.
The launch we watched on that wooden Televsion on the 12th April 1981 was Columbia’s first mission, STS 1. It was a memory I relived yesterday as I watched Endeavour launch its last mission, STS 134, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida 30 years later.
What struck me about yesterdays launch was how similar it was to the first one I saw, why would it be any different? The thing is, it’s not as if I’ve been that interested in the program during the last 30 years, it’s pretty much passed me by. It’s a bit like getting into a band shortly before they split up.
Yesterdays launch was as exiting as the first time I watched it, awesome. Great watching online too, complete with Specky banter and realtime launch info. Wicked.