On Thursday, February 24 Space Shuttle Discovery launched for the last time. This hardly comes as news to anyone but since we’ve enjoyed watching many launches – day and night – from our neighborhood beach, I couldn’t let this occasion pass without mention.
About ten minutes before launch time, which I monitor from NASA’s Twitter feed, people flock to the beach, young and old. So these forays into space are still magical to most people.
I regret not being more aware of that final nighttime launch last year, and not having set up the photo gear to try to capture it. Many did, as it was a dark, clear night, and have heart-stoppingly beautiful pictures to show for it.
Discovery was visible to us for maybe a minute before it vanished into the bluish sky above the horizon.
Then we all went home.