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Shuttle Launch



While talking to Doug, VA3DGR, in Windsor, ON on FO-20 this morning, he
reminded me the shuttle was going up in a few minutes.  He was taking a
particular interest since a Canadian was aboard.

It was too early to have the TV set going, since most sane people were
still asleep at our house.  Doug provided color commentary, via CNN and
FO-20.  

At 30 seconds after launch, the contrail and shuttle were clearly
visible as I peered out the vertical blinds next to my station.  (I have
a clear view out a sliding glass window to the east, over a canal.) The
orbiter was radiant, brilliant orange as it reflected the rising sun. 
The contrail, bold and arcing, took on a crimson cast as STS-96
accelerated over the Atlantic. A clear, bright yellow glow, from the
boosters, followed the gleaming craft. Several seconds later, the
separation was clearly visible in the dawn sky from Fort Myers.  The
contrail persisted for several minutes, until the gentle winds chopped
it into a zig-zag of fluff.  

It's times like this that I feel a pang of nationalistic pride, to see
such a powerful display.  Having followed the entire space program from
day one, it makes me want to jump up and yell, "way to go NASA!"

What a beautiful sight, to see a shuttle hurling towards orbit.  Thanks
Doug for the QSO and commentary.  
What a small world we've help evolve.  Isn't technology great?

Oh, by the way Doug, your report: 57.  Shuttle astronauts/NASA: Q5/59!

73, Mike


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