Endeavour up

Space shuttle Endeavour slipped the bonds of gravity, disappeared into Florida's blue sky and began orbiting the planet Wednesday after a 6:38 p.m. blast off from Kennedy Space Center.

countdown1The astronauts are to dock at the international space station on Friday for a construction mission.

I've watched dozens of launches. Sometimes from the back yard, the golf course behind the house, or at New Smyrna Beach - my favorite location.

Wednesday night we watched television and peered out the window as the shuttle, trailing a bright plume of flame, arched across the sky. The NASA launch announcer noted that Endeavor was travelling at 17,5000 mph just as it disappeared into the ether.

Eleven minutes after the launch we heard the ground effect sound of the blast created when the exhaust fills the flame trench. Eleven minutes. That's how long it took the sound to reach more than 50 miles away from the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.

The power still amazes me.