As comedian Louis CK’s rant on technology points out, we don’t often take time to reflect on what science and business advances have brought us. It isn’t just a plane trip; it’s humans sitting on chairs in the sky.
One of those humans happened to have a video camera on Thursday. Moving to the edge of his seat in the sky (actually the seat of a fellow passenger), he captured a few minutes of the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery:
This was a unique perspective of Discovery‘s final shuttle mission. There are a number of videos available from the ground view as well as the one we watched showing the camera attached to the shuttle. All of these people sharing the experience of a major technological achievement by documenting it with other major technological achievements.
When I was my eldest son’s age, the first spaceworthy shuttle—Columbia—had just been delivered to the Kennedy Space Center to prep for its first flight (That wouldn’t occur for another two years). Elsewhere in space: Bryan Allen pedaled the Gossamer Albatross across the English Channel, Voyager I completed a flyby of Jupiter, Pioneer 11 passed Saturn, and Skylab came back to earth. It was also the year of Three Mile Island, the Ixtoc I, NORAD’s false alarm, and a crash of a DC-10 at O’Hare. Science is hard.
We only have two more chances to see this again. My boys watched the last Discovery launch with me on my laptop, after being reminded on Twitter that the lift-off was imminent. We waited less than ten minutes before NASA flight command reported the shuttle was officially in space. It takes more time to watch an episode of Phineas and Ferb than it does to leave the planet.
Incredible.Tags: airplane, Discovery, launch, miracle of flight, space flight, Space Shuttle, technology, video, YouTube