When I was growing up during the days of the Mercury and Apollo space programs, the astronauts were real heroes. They still are heroes, by the way. I was a young men when the world waited for the men to walk on the moon in 1969. I hiked about 25 miles that day through the Sangre de Cristo mountains to be near a television so I could watch Neil Armstrong on a battered black and white television with a couple of hundred other people.
I'm no longer young. Neither are my heroes. That does not diminish the risk the current crew takes.
This morning I srtolled into the back yard and waited 'til I saw that white plume through the clouds. Within moments it arced across the sky and disappeared into the ether.
By the time I walked back into the house where Central Florida News 13 was capturing the event live, it was 11:18 a.m. For the record, the shuttle and it's crew was plummeting through space at 4,400 mph. Atlantis was already 108 miles down range from Kennedy Space Center.