Reach for the Stars STS-134 Endeavor

STS-134.

The The final launch of the space shuttle Endeavor took place on Monday, May 16th at 8:56 a.m. EDT.

Concrete


Launch Report

The final launch of the space shuttle Endeavor took place on Monday, May 16th at 8:56 a.m. EDT. Andy and Peter were there, watching from a vantage point on the NASA Causeway at the Kennedy Space Center. The view was magnificent just 6.5 miles from Launch Complex 39A. The arrival time before dawn afforded a beautiful display of four planets hanging above the eastern horizon, awaiting the sun. It rose on time about 20 minutes later. The countdown proceeded almost without a glitch. The closeout crew discovered some tile damage around the hatch but quickly repaired it. The excitement built as Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach polled his team for their Go/No Go decisions. There were no constraints. The crowd cheered and joined in the count from T-10 seconds and cheered as the skies lit up with the incandescent light of the Solid Rocket Booster(SRB)s.

There is no way to capture the quality of the light from those engines. It is nearly too bright to look at directly and it is difficult to comprehend how much power is being displayed as this vehicle weighing four and a half million pounds at launch rockets toward the clouds where it disappeared 20 seconds after leaving the pad. The sound took 45 seconds to reach us. We stood there, cheering as the intense reverberations like one continuous crackling explosion washed over us. Take the best 4th of July Grand Finale, amplify it by a brazillion and you might come close to the sight and sound of a space shuttle launch. There will only be one more and we plan to be there.

Trip Timeline

  • 13 May 23:00 - MacL XVI arrives in MSP
  • 14 May 12:35 - Peter departs on DL 2322 to Miami
  • 15 May 10:04 - Andy departs on DL 1403 Ft Lauderdale
  • 15 May 14:38 - Andy arrives in Ft Lauderdale (FLL)
  • 15 May 15:00 - Peter rendezvous with Andy at FLL
  • 15 May 15:30 - Resupply at Whole Foods in Boca Raton
  • 15 May 17:15 - First encounter with Plecia nearctica on I95 near Vero Beach
  • 15 May 18:20 - Arrive at Kennedy Space Center
  • 15 May 19:30 - Hydration at Milliken's Reef, Port Canaveral Florida
  • 15 May 20:30 - Meal at Madd Jack's, Port St. John Florida
  • 15 May 22:30 - Arrive at Orlando Airport (MCO) pick-up location for transport to Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
  • 15 May 22:35 - Rendezvous with Madame Concorde for further hydration
  • 16 May 00:30 - Transport departs for KSC
  • 16 May 01:30 - Transport arrives at KSC
  • 16 May 03:30 - Line-up for transport to causeway
  • 16 May 04:00 - Board transport for causeway
  • 16 May 05:07 - Transport departs KSC Visitor Center for NASA Causeway
  • 16 May 05:30 - Arrive at NASA Causeway
  • 16 May 05:45 - Rendezvous with Team Florida Kilpatrick 6.5 miles from LC 39A
  • 16 May 08:56 - Launch of STS-134 Endeavor
  • 16 May 09:30 - Transport departs Causeway for Orlando
  • 16 May 10:15 - Peter contacts Mission Control (Agnes) to request new return trajectory to MSP
  • 16 May 10:25 - Agnes provides revised coordinates from MCO instead of FLL
  • 16 May 10:30 - Transport arrives in Orlando drop-off location
  • 16 May 10:50 - Arrive at vehicle return location MCO
  • 16 May 11:00 - Check-in for DL 2074
  • 16 May 11:15 - Receive TSA clearance to proceed to gate
  • 16 May 11:55 - Receive Delta clearance for boarding
  • 16 May 12:05 - Flight 2074 departs from Orlando
  • 16 May 14:30 - Flight 2074 arrives in MSP
  • 16 May 14:51 - Board Light rail
  • 16 May 16:00 - Home
  • 16 May 17:15 - Hydration at Town Hall Tap