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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Near Meeting With Space Shuttle Atlantis

The Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down at 08:39am Pacific time this morning at Edwards Air Force Base near Palmdale, California.

I was on a flight from Portland to San Diego and enjoying a cup of coffee after my inflight service this morning at approximately 08:30am when our captain made the following announcement:

"Ladies and gentlemen, in approximately 3-4 minutes we will be passing just to the west of Edwards Air Force Base...it will be on our left hand side. We have been speaking with air traffic control and they have informed us that within just a few minutes after we have passed it, the Space Shuttle Atlantis will be passing just behind our aircraft and land at Edwards AFB. This is a once in a lifetime moment for most of us."

I couldn't believe it. I stared out the window through the morning haze over at the dry lake beds that comprise the landing strip at Edwards. I've seen it a hundred times. But knowing that the very Space Shuttle that I've been watching all week work 350 miles above the earth's surface on the Hubble Space Telescope is going to be passing directly behind the aircraft I was on was something I won't soon forget. What a job. What a life!

14 comments:

Blair said...

This is so cool. I just watched the touchdown on CNN. So close! It would have been cool to have flown over the landing site just as it touched down.

Wish I was flying with you!

J.P. said...

Now that is wicked cool!

Wayne said...

Oh, sooo cool!

Princessa lil mexico said...

that's kinda James Bond of you. Now you just need to jump out of the plane in your tux and shoot to kill!!

wcs said...

Did you see it????

Billy said...

What an experience! Something memorable for the 'Memoirs of A Lewis'

Rick said...

That's pretty cool. I've always wanted to see one launch. My Mom tells me it's quite amazing.

Gregorio said...

Wow, that's so awesome. I saw it on TV here, but didn't pay much attention to it! You're a part of it!! he he...
Grego

Anonymous said...

HOW COOL!!! I want your job just
for a day...Just to see something
that freakin cool...

LUCKY!

TACKLE YOU HUGS!!!!!!!

Laurie

WAT said...

Oh wow, that's exciting man! Would've been better had the shuttle hit your plane and stuff! THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN MONUMENTALLY AWESOME!

Oh wait. NO! NOOOOOOO! Then people could've been hurt and killed! SCRATCH THAT! SORRY! AHEM!

Hey, I hope u do make it out to L.A. soon though...

Sorted Lives said...

Glad you got to see it. I have seen many go up (living so close), but never come down. I've heard the sonic boom, sounds like a bomb. Night launches are the best.

Greg said...

Very awesome!!!

bridgeout said...

WOW!!! How cool is that?? Did you snap it? Or better yet... just soaked in the mental pic. I bet.

Ryan said...

ive seen it take off and land living in fla not far to jump in the car drive over. besides there nudie beaches on that side of the state!