I rushed to work this morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of the space shuttle Endeavour on its final trip, piggybacking on another plane to its final destination as a museum dust magnet. Well, I suppose there are worse ways to go out.
At first I figured, hey, I’ve got a NASA badge, I’ll just go to my office at Ames. But I didn’t realize just how many people were interested in seeing this thing fly overhead. I saw people on the Dumbarton Bridge, and lining the sidewalk on the roads. People gathered on overpasses and poured out of their offices. When I saw the line of cars waiting to get into Ames, I decided to give up and just go to work — surely folks there will be gathering in some logical place, like the roof (please be on the roof, guys!). And yes, they were on the roof, and the NASA TV feed was up in the room just downstairs from the roof access stairway.
We waited, and finally heard Jill Tarter (who stayed down in the room) yell up “It’s on final approach to Ames!”. And after a few minutes it glided by, slowly. Beautiful. I never got to see a launch, but at least I got to see this.
My video isn’t great. In the bright sunlight I couldn’t see my phone screen well, so I was shooting blind. I get the shuttle about half the time. But at least I did get it some.
OK, NASA! OK, American public and Congress and people who decide that humans can and should do amazing things in space: what’s next?