The Keels go to launch

At the STS-82 launch

A few highlights from the shuttle-launch trip. First, to show we were all there:

We got some really good closeup views of Discovery on the pad from the tour bus (last seats of the VIP tour!), after the service structure had been rotated away and before fuelling of the big external tank began (take notes - the best time to see one right before launch).

The kids enjoyed seeing the various spacesuits, inhabited or not, at the visitor center:

And as to the launch itself - spectacular! Words fail me (and believe me, I've tried). This sequence shows a view soon after liftoff, when the orbiter's tail can still be seen in the glow of the exhaust, and follows it pitching away from us to the east, as the solid boosters tail off and are dropped away in the last pictures.