GRAIL is GO

I realize I didn’t post my launch photos or write about the launch yet. I promise it’s not because I’m a slacker. Since my last post I’ve updated my other blog with some very interesting topics. I wrote about how to pack a healthy lunch and how to get a bunch of second graders to drink a green drink and ask for more, check those out after you read this. Back to the NASA Tweetup.

The launch was very exciting, we were fortunate to watch it at KARS park. It was a beautiful and tranquil setting. The sky was a beautiful blue, I was really hoping I would see the rocket launch because my flight was leaving shortly after.

KARS Park

KARS Park

While we waited we watched the manatees drink water from a faucet.

Manatee

The bigger one kept pushing the small one out of it’s way, he wanted all the fresh water for himself. It was pretty amazing when part of their body was outside of the water, these creatures are really huge. I really wanted to touch one, but I didn’t because they are protected by state and federal law. Plus I hear they are pretty mean. I don’t think anyone would call them cute, but they kind of are. In a non cuddly way.

As we got closer to the launch window I began to listen more intently to the NASA feed playing on the speakers. Rocket launches are a tricky thing, besides all the technical and mechanical things that can go wrong  the weather and the wind have to be right. With two one second launch windows it was amazing that the rocket even ended up launching on Saturday, but it did. Thank goodness for that second launch window. Check out the smoke below.

Smoke after the GRAIL launch

I don’t have any pictures of the actual launch because I didn’t bring a fancy camera, I wanted to experience the launch and not worry about taking pictures of it. I’m glad I did because I may never get to experience this again in real life. I didn’t want to be so worried about capturing the moment that I would miss it. So here are some more post launch smoke pictures.

GRAIL Launch smoke

Post launch GRAIL

The Delta II looked very graceful as she launched up toward the sky in silence. Later when we heard the sound it validated the whole experience. I didn’t feel the vibration but I felt happiness as I watched it get out of sight. I felt a special feeling in my heart later on that night as I looked up at the moon knowing these two satellites are heading there.

Going to the NASA Tweetup has changed me, I feel a  personal connection to the moon. When is see the ISS fly by it’s more special now. Being in the Vehicle Assembly Building and seeing Endeavour up close has made me even more upset that we no longer have manned space flights because we still have so much to learn. But I’m hopeful this will change in the future. If you have any interest at all in NASA or space I encourage you to try to go to a NASA Tweetup. It’s an amazing experience.