It’s Sunday, May 16, which means Atlantis embarked on it’s ‘last’ flight two days ago. I was there to share the experience with 149 other Twitter users that had the amazing opportunity to be there first hand to witness such an awesome thing.
However, we weren’t just there for the launch. We got a VIP tour of the entire NASA complex.. as they said, everything they could have shown us, they did.
Also, any guest speakers they could brought in to talk to us, they did. Seriously.. a Close Out Crew member! One that had JUST help get the astronauts of Atlantis get situated and ready for flight. We watched him be apart of the crew on NASA tv and then about an hour later, he was in our tent telling us all about it: his final words to the astronauts before closing the hatch (“God Speed.”) and that it’s not always fun, as he was part of the crew that get Columbia ready for flight.. right before that horrible launch.
We got to spend a lot of time hanging around the countdown clock and Launch Pad. (I’m sorry for whatever you were doing on Thursday and Friday!)
Bobby Braun – NASA Chief Technologist
Janice Voss – Astronaut
Stephanie Stilson – Orbiter Processing Director
Jon Cowart, NASA engineer
Ron Woods – NASA spacesuit designer
Thursday included a full VIP tour, with the added bonus of going to Launch Pad 39-A. Being there while the RSS – Rotating Service Structure – pulled away from Atlantis. What a freaking experience. Amazing!
Lori Garver, NASA Deputy Administrator
Lt. Col. Patrick Barrett, Weather Officer
Dave Wolf, Astronaut
Chris Meinert, Closeout crew (for STS-132, how crazy!!)
Madi Sengupta, Robotics Instructor (for STS-132..see totally mind blowing)
Bobby Braun, Chief Technologist, came back for more questions
The speakers came randomly throughout the day. Then everyone went out by the road to wave the Atlantis STS-132 crew off!! What a great experience!
Once 2:10 came around we all went out to get our spots for the launch.. what an amazing view we ALL had. Felt the Earth shake. Got yelled at by a gator (honestly, it was SUPER loud and scary.)
I have posted the rest of the pictures on flickr, so go and enjoy them! See NASA up close!