Saturday, November 15, 2008

We Endeavored to Watch the Endeavor - And Did!

Last night at about 7:50 I rounded up the flashlight and the Mister and turned the TV to the local news station. The live pre liftoff countdown was in progress and all systems were go for the Space Shuttle Endeavor at Cape Canaveral.
It was already quite dark out, and a beautiful full moon was rising above the tree line to the east. I used the flashlight to make a lighted path in front of my feet. This is Florida, after all, and things slither and creep and scritch ( oh, sorry, that's the Mister scritching in his sandals) and plop loudly into the pond. One must take care that one's pedicured toes are not headed directly for the resident alligator or the black racer snake that one has gingerly directed from the lanai to the great outdoors on several occasions using the fully (and I do mean fully) extended pool skimmer to assist said snake in choosing the proper path back to the garden. He's just lucky I don't own a gun.
S'cuse me, lady, is that a 357 magnum?
By the time I made it to the very edge of the pond, and searched the area around my toes for things that go creep in the night and searched the pond to see what just made that giant splash, the Mister, who was monitoring the TV said "We have Liftoff" and came out to join me in the yard. Lift Off under a full moon
Cape Canaveral, the home of Endeavor, is on the East coast of Florida. It's 156 miles nearly due east of us. We've managed to watch several of the shuttles climb into space. It takes about a minute and a half after lift off for the rockets to climb high enough for us to see it.
It was rather spectacular last night! We could see the orange flames from the booster rockets just as it came into view above the tree line. The flames turned to a bright white as it arced over the horizon. It disappeared from sight as it crossed the bright full moon and then reappeared on the other side looking like a bright moving star.
This picture looks very much like what we saw except that, in the picture, the large white ball is the endeavor and the small while ball is the full moon. This picture was taken just a few miles from the Cape. What we saw was just the opposite - The large bright light was the full moon and the smaller object the shuttle.
We have often experienced the double sonic booms the shuttles make as they pass over our coast on their way back to the Cape. It can be rather dramatic at times with door wall windows making a noticeable inward bulge and us looking all big eyed at each other until we realize that we have just heard the shuttle coming home.
The mission includes installing bathrooms on the space station. Coincidentally, some of the members of my church are on a mission of their own, in Costa Rica for 10 days, to install a bathroom. They have been in contact with a very small church located on an unpaved road. The church has no parking lot, sidewalk or bathrooms - other than an outbuilding. The government is requiring all churches, no matter the size, to install indoor bathrooms with wheelchair access to the government's specifications. If not completed, the church must close.
The team is going to do just that, and with the help of donations, will also hire - and pay -local workers to assist them with the work. It is a very poor area where most live by sustenance farming. The finished bathrooms will be far nicer and sturdier than the church itself and certainly better than any the local population is used to.
Please pray for the safety and success of both missions to install bathrooms!


steviewren said...

Wow Cynthia, what a fantastic post. I would love to stand and watch a shuttle take off alongside you and the Mister, after checking for slithery things of course! And what a fantastic thing your fellow church members are doing also. Best wishes and lots of prayers for their success. I know those Costa Rican church members are thankful to have such a giving sister church to stand alongside them in their endeavor.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

I grew up in Titusville during The Space Race [still have some of the old newspapers from that era too]. We lived not too distant from the Intercoastal Waterway. Our jalousie windows used to shutter and shake whenever there was a launch. Jalousie windows where such a horrible invention. They always leaked air, let in bugs and where soooo easy to lift out of place even when closed ... anyway, that brought back many childhood memories.

BTW, thanks for not killing the snakes. They are harmless and actually very beneficial. They eat rats for one thing. I like snakes ... and lizards and ... other of our southern critters.

God bless ya! ♥ ∞

MuseSwings said...

Sparkei -I've heard that things rattle and the ground shakes near the Cape. We have yet to travel over there during a lift off - maybe next time.
I'll watch for your jalousie windows while I'm there. I appreciate snakes and our other southern critters. Don't like snakes, but I appreciate them - bats too, those mosquito eating powerhouses!

MuseSwings said...

Stevie - that is very cool about the Costa Rica Trip. There have been several others - one to build a house and one to repair and paint a church along with a lot of interaction with the wonderful people there.

Lavinia said...

A,,,er,,,worthy endeavour!

marianne said...

Wow Cynthia,
This must be magnificent to witness!
And the full moon picture, so beautiful!
Exciting but it must have been double tragedy to see that time when it went wrong so sadly......
Thanks for letting me watch over your shoulder!

Hug >M<

Ps I still have to place your beautiful award on my blog, but I will do that at home (Iĺl leave tonight)

Gracieanne1 said...

It's wonderful for you to post a photo for those of us who live far away.
It's great to see a photo of the Shuttle Endeavor's lift-off in contrast to the moon's size. I can't imagine how loud the BOOM sound is or the parts of the house and ground shaking near Canaveral.