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July 26, 2005

The Space Shuttle Launch

I just took fifteen minutes out of my day to watch the United States return to space with the launch of the space shuttle. It was spectacular. NASA mounted a camera on the rocket booster so you could see the shuttle pulling away from earth and then actually see the shuttle separate from the rocket. Totally cool.

The neatest thing about watching this launch was was that I got to see it on the NASA channel on my DirectTV system. The networks and the major news services never allow you experience anything. They feel that they are not doing their job if they aren't yaking all the time. This leads them imparting minutia, repeating themselves over and over again, and making asinine comments. You know comments like "The rocket boosters are naturally that orange because the don't paint them" or "The Kennedy Space Center is located in central Florida - that's really close to Disney World" or " The rocket boosters are naturally that orange because the don't paint them".

NASA TV has a commentator. He tells you what's happening but only when something actually happens. For instance, you hear the shuttle crew announce that the shuttles computers have take control of the launch at -25 seconds. The commentator explains this and then he does something unprecedented - he shuts up until the next event happens. In the time in between his comments you are free to enjoy what you are watching - one of the most complex set of systems ever assembled in operation.

12:06 PM | Permalink


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