Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shuttle Scrubbed....So Disappointed!!!

The sun rises on Launch Day

See we were ready for launch, this was around 8 am (been there 3 hours already)

The sun rising was beautiful

  I was like a kid before Christmas, I couldn't sleep on Thursday night.  We were up at 4:30 am to go get our prime site.  We had scoped out a site this week where we could have sun and shade and no one could stand in front of us.  With over 750,000 people expected we had no idea what to expect here at the park.  People were pouring in on Thursday night.  but when we went down to double check our site Thursday, people had already put up an e-z up, chairs and things on the picnic table.  Chairs were laid out on the ground all over the corner we wanted.  We debated what to do, a storm was coming in and we didn't want our chairs blown away, but we wanted a good site....after all we had been here all week waiting for this.  But the storm hit hard and that solved our delimna, we would still get up early and go down.  So with not sleeping that wasn't hard to do, and while I was awake I did check out "The Wedding" on TV.  When we got down to the beach area at 5 am it was calm and quiet, but there were people who had slept in their chairs all night already there and other people sitting in their chairs ( our prime #1 spot) so we picked a good site still (Joe McCart said he liked it better then our 1st pick anyway...thanks Joe).  We had our coffee and enjoyed the peacefulness and sunrise.  Another couple came over and we began to talk.  They liked so many of the things we do..micro-brew (they even brew their own) wineries and travelling.   We had a great time exchanging things we had done did at the same places we each had visited.  More people came down and it was like an early morning party.  By 9 am the wind was picking up and the clouds were threatening rain...and then it rained.  I came back to the motor home to get lunch in the crock: pot as Joe and Connie were bringing their friends Peggy and Ron. We had told them to leave early as they were saying traffic would be backed up for 6 hours, but they arrived around 10 am and that was good.  I kept checking the NASA website as we were worried about the weather, the wind was blowing hard and the clouds hung low.  Around 2 pm I reported the astronauts were suited up and headed to the shuttle.  Within 20 mins. a man with what seemed like portable ham radio (Rich is that possible?) said they were defueling the shuttle,I said "What did they scrub it?"  he said "I don't know".  Well common sense is if they are defueling it with less then two hours to lift is scrubbed.  Sure enough a blown heater fuse was found and so that was the end of that......oh the disappointment in the crowd.  It will be tonight before they get the technicians in to see if it is an easy fix or not.  If just changing the fuse works then it will launch at 2:33 Monday.  We are scheduled to leave here Tuesday, so keep your fingers crossed for us please.  So we came back to the motor home, had some wine and conversation, ate lunch and made the best of it, with good company that was easy.  So we will await to hear the latest.  As far as the "Wedding" why didn't he just grab his princess on the balcony and give her a proper romantic kiss????
See the view we had, just to the far right of the building is the Endeavour

Chairs waiting for their "people"

Clouds begin to descend on launch area

What happen to our view????
Coffee and donuts with Connie, Peggy Joe and myself

Oh well, might as well have some wine and fun

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Dream Come true...Kennedy Space Center!!

The building where the Shuttle's are prepared to launch (been here 40 years so a lot of different Space craft have been here

Only took me since 1960's to get here (Dusty a little shorter...LOL)

The ASTRONAUT we met

Us and Wendy Lawrence
The Endeavour (you can only see the rockets and fuel tanks) ready on Launch pad
Well I got to go to one of my childhood dream places.  If you are like me and born in the late 40's or 50's you watched the Space Race with the Russian's on TV (black & white) or listened on the radio.  My teachers brought the TV into the classrooms to watch Alan Shepard do his 19 mins in Space and John Glenn circle the earth.  Oh how I wanted to be an Astronaut....but being in the early 60's people laughed at that.  I even did a play for our 6th grade class about Space and Astronaut's and of course I wrote the main Astronaut to be me...but would you believe that they would not even let me play one...I was so angry.  Man how times have changed...thank goodness.  We spent the last two day's at Kennedy Space Center and we still didn't see everything.  To add to all this excitement the Space Shuttle "Endeavour" is scheduled to lift off this Friday the 29th at 3:47:47 (to be exact) and we are camped right across from it like 12 miles from the launch pad...BUT...all these things must be in place for that to happen..1) The Russians are on their way to International Space Station, so they have to dock on time tomorrow morning 2) there can be no rain in Spain (true fact) because this is the alternate place for the shuttle to land if an emergency arises 3) there can be no lightning here at the center tonight because of them fueling the large tanks( and they are calling for storms) 4) finally the weather here in FL has to be good.  Then there is only a 5 min. window that it can lift off.  So IF all those things go well we will watch the lift-off.  We will be getting up at 5 am to go down to the beach here and claim our spots.  They are letting the public in at 7 am for any parking spots that might be available ( and there aren't many) and there are 177 sites here and people are pulling in left and right!!  So please keep your fingers crossed!!
See how close we got

What the shuttle looks like up close, was cool to go inside

OK the answer to how does an astronaut go the gravity so they use a lot of "suction"

Inside the gray cage to the right is where the Endeavour is (this keeps it safe til launch)

Think of their fuel bill!! 
Back to our visit at the Space Center, we got to see the launch pad and the shuttle is there but it is enclosed so you can't see it, see other space crafts from the pass and see the new Orion which will be how we send people up in the future.  It was really emotionally for me to see the Apollo building as these are really the days I Shepard (note: I dated his nephew in high school...he was a naval midshipmen) Glenn, losing Grissom in the Apollo 1 explosion, Armstrong landing on the moon etc...tears were in eyes.  WE had lunch with an astronaut Wendy Lawrence....fantastic..listened to her speak twice, got our picture with her and her autograph.  She was on the 1st shuttle after the Columbia blew up 79 seconds into lift off...that had to be scary.  But how great to get to meet a "WOMAN' Astronaut!!!
The IMAX shows were wonderful, if you ever get a chance to see a show about the Hubble Telescope, do....the photos are really OUT of this World!!  I can not even to begin to tell you everything we seen.  And you would be bored anyway.  But we did take a behind the scene tour and got to go over to Cape Canaveral. Coming to Kennedy Space Center is a place to see what the American Spirit was like in the 50's thru the 80's.  After the 80's it seems we kind of lost our love of the Space program...but we shouldn't.  We have so many things that we use in our daily lives that came out of NASA programs, things like your cell phones, GPS, personal computer's, medicine the list goes on and on....even the heart pump that kept Dusty alive until we could get him to Stanford was created by NASA.  So we are very grateful for NASA.
Exact control panels

Just a small piece of Apollo Saturn V

End of engines

Dusty's view of the Saturn V engines from underneath

Until you are there it is really hard to understand the size of these things Apollo Saturn V

Rockets from the past

Will someone answer the question are we or are we not related to Robert Goddard?? My mother was a Goddard

A fire breaks out across from the NASA building,, they say it just burst into flames???

This is the crawler that carries the shuttle to launch is the width of an 8 lane highway and takes 5-8 hours to go 3 miles to launch pad

Dusty and Endeavour

Wendy signs our picture for us

"Orion" the new capsule astronauts will use in future, doesn't this look familiar??

A magnolia flower..I had been waiting to see one

NASA building, you can see launch pad in background

On our way back to campground from NASA

Putting out fire near launch area

All the countries involved with the International Space Station
Today we were to go on a fishing trip but the waters were too rough so we have rescheduled for Sunday.  Of course for all our friends in the areas being hit by tornadoes, floods and storms, our occasional storms are nothing and we are thinking of you and praying you are safe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One More Mile

We arrived at Manatee Hammock Campground on Monday April 25, 2011, located in Titusville, Fl. on US Highway 1. We we're assigned to sited #116 and extended our stay to 8 days because there will be a shuttle launch on Friday " hopefully the weather will hold " to view it from straight across the Indian River.

from Manatee Hammock campground to shuttle launch area
I wouldn't count on  satellite reception,  lots of trees making a good canopy to keep the temperature. down. There is a  pool and clubhouse & to see more on go to

site #116

Char looking out over the Indian River

Normal rates are $30.00 per night if you stay more than 7 days you get a 35% discount on additional days.
With 35% discount plus Passport America our stay worked out to $17.50 per night very affordable.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Well today is Bunny Day and our youngest daughter's 31st birthday...Happy Birthday Tina...we love you much.  How I miss having little ones to hunt eggs with.  With my grandsons grown it is something I just don't do anymore  :(  But hope all of you who still get to do it have fun and that the sun is shining where ever you are.  We actually got rain this morning and I felt sorry for all those children doing egg hunts after the weather has been beautiful all month. The last 6 days have been the slowest days we have had and I can't believe how tired we both are!!  You never know how tired you are until you stop...that is why you shouldn't stop but keep going!!

Yesterday we went for a little walk and since we are camped right at the Port Lucie Locks we watched the pleasure boats go through the locks.  This was something I had never seen and found it very interesting.  This is the short cut from the Gulf side to the Atlantic side and save boaters 243 miles ( which could be a couple of days for them).  Once upon a time Dusty and I had this  dream  to live in the motor home 6 months and then live on a houseboat 6 months (this dream started when we were working in the Delta in CA...where we will be working next winter also) and watching the boats yesterday sure brought back that desire!!

this one would do nicely
  We then took a mile walk through the trees along the felt good to get to do that with all the pain I have had with this ankle..but when we got back it said to me"Hey, you think I'm healed or what...I will show you"...yep back to ice and keeping it up...maybe I have a stress fracture???  Anyway hope it heals soon.  So the rest of the day was spent quietly.  Well have fun with your families today...and Happy Easter to ours!!  Love you guys!