Friday, May 31, 2002  [!]

How do you spell bummer? S-C-R-U-B-B-E-D. 20 minutes before the launch or so they scrubbed it. The hour-by-hour weather report shows that the afternoon and early evenings for today and tomorrow have thunderstorms. Unfortunately, the time to launch is early evening in order to make the orbit to dock with the ISS (Space Station).

There will be no attempt to launch today; the weather predictions include hail, and they need to move the RSS (rotating scaffolding system? dunno; it's the thing that covers the shuttle until not long before launch) over to protect the shuttle; they can't do that while the tanks are filled, so they have to de-fuel the shuttle first, to rotate the coverings back into place. Hence no attempt today; we'll hear more about a launch attempt tomorrow later on. So (in addition to watching some spectacular lightning storms) we've been reconciling ourselves to not watching the shuttle launch this time.

Still, what we've seen and experienced so far has been tremendous. The Banana Creek Viewing Facility where we were (which had a wonderful view; wonderful!!) has a big Saturn V rocket in it. The rocket is 100 yards long (length of a football field) and there are all sorts of displays (including the command module—with the charred remnants of the heat shield!—the little cone-shaped portion that astronauts rode up and back to and from the moon). I've got pix; will post later.

much later After exploring the local area, we came back and discovered that they'll be making another launch attempt Monday. Yeeeehaw! We're still around for that, so we'll go! After reconciling ourselves to not seeing it, it looks like it's on again. Weather's looking better then, too.

Oh, and the Dodgers won, 4 to 2. Playing the Blue Jays. That's the Vero Beach Dodgers, the farm team. We happened to be in Vero Beach, saw a Dodgers sticker (oh, that's right! the LA Dodgers train in Vero Beach!) asked for directions, and drove up to Dodgertown on a lark only to discover that a game was starting in 5 minutes. Don't that beat all?

[ NASA Awards banquet and Cocoa Beach | Space Flight Awareness Reception + Astronaut pix | Tour of Kennedy Space Center | We (finally) Have Liftoff! ]