There are no words to express how it felt to experience the last space shuttle launch nearly three miles from the launch pad. Not on TV but actually smack dab in the middle of more than 2,000 journalists and other media representatives. The only thing separating us from the launch pad was the Indian River Lagoon. And it’s hard to express what it felt like to stand right before the launch pad just one day before Atlantis would rip through the skies.
OK. There might actually be one word, “Wow.” That’s really the only word heard after the countdown ended and the shuttle blasted into space. There were cheers and hugs all around. So much excitement that when the launch was replayed on a monitor inside the NASA Tweetup tent, a new round of applause broke out.
For many, including me, this last space shuttle launch is the culmination of a long and emotional journey. My journey wasn’t quite as long as others, but as I stood in a restricted area only open to Tweetup participants, press and NASA families, I couldn’t help but think how lucky I am and how lucky we are to have been a part of history. And this is only the beginning. Space exploration will continue, and I have a feeling the United States will continue to be at the forefront.
Simply put, the NASA Tweetup was eye-opening. The shuttle is a mammoth beast, and we designed it. Somehow, everything seems so small now. I don’t think you can really grasp that fact until you are standing inside the Vehicle Assembly Building or watching a launch.
I encourage you to visit our Twitter page (@CBRPR) for a recap of my experience, and if you haven’t been to the Kennedy Space Center, go. Even without a shuttle launch, the visitor complex will have you saying “Wow,” too.
Christina Morton is an account executive specializing in social media with CBR.