"Carrying a seven-person crew, Endeavour illuminated the evening sky as it shot off from the Kennedy Space Centre, settling into Earth's orbit about 8½ minutes after takeoff.
Endeavour's crew will be delivering a 14,500-kilogram payload of equipment that will allow the space station to double the crew size to six members in the spring of 2009.
The shuttle is loaded with two additional bedrooms, an extra toilet and exercise machine and two new food warmers, a food refrigerator and an experiment freezer.
The crew will also install a recycling system that will turn urine into drinking water at the orbiting outpost, which will be even more essential for the station crew after the space shuttle program is retired in 2010."Perhaps I've been hanging out with a thirteen year old boy far too much, but the part about turning urine into drinking water was the most interesting part to me.
We coordinated driving schedules with Randy and Jennifer, who were just up the road from us, and headed over early afternoon. We went to Jetty Park, where we met up with Wendy the Great and her cute kids and hubby. I was excited to see her right when we arrived at the park.
We were able do introductions, gab for just a short bit and she went to help her hubby with their kids. Right after she walked away, we were arrested by the park security guard. Ok, not arrested...but we were kicked out of the park. Yes, kicked out!!!!!!!!!!!!! It seems Ace was only welcome if we were camping. Otherwise, not. She escorted us to our truck and drove us out of the park. We had to drive down to another park where dogs might be allowed.
I was SO disappointed that I didn't get that time with Wendy, especially since she is moving shortly. =(
It was wonderful that Randy and Jennifer went with us though, because we got to sit and gab for the hours we had to wait until the launch. I always hate to describe people as the "nicest" anything because it almost sounds to me like one of those things you say when you can't think of anything more interesting to say. But they truly are just the nicest couple/family.
Jennifer is one of those bright, sunshine reflecting people that is full of life. She also can hold her own in one of Diana, Austin and I's gabbing contests which I always enjoy in a person. Randy is so laid back and just a hoot. Their kids are so quiet that I don't know a lot about them yet, but hoping to have more time with them and get to know them better.
The launch was so fabulous. Auburn commented that it almost didn't look real, because it was so bright. Austin loved it too. Wendy told me that it was the last night launch they were doing here, so it was neat that we were a part of it for that reason too.
On to the pics: