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To infinity and beyond!

I’ve never been that interested in space, rockets or astronauts. But today I was completely absorbed by the launch of Atlantis – the final ever NASA shuttle launch. I’d been hearing rumours all week that the launch would be scuppered by bad weather and wasn’t really expecting anything to happen today.

So this morning, I was hanging out on Twitter (in the name of successful freelancer networking, of course). I started to see that everyone was tweeting about either the phone hacking/News Of The World scandal (getting to be slightly old news now) or the shuttle launch. And the number of people I know (or at least have heard of) who were present at Cape Canaveral really surprised me. Seeing all their photos from Florida really got me excited about what was to come. Of course it probably didn’t hurt that I visited Cape Canaveral and nearby Cocoa Beach last year.

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Eventually, I tuned into NASA TV to see the live HD feed of the launch. And even the ‘holds’ didn’t dampen my excitement. At T -1:00 I got so excited I burst into my husband’s office (where no-one shallst burst when he is working), clutching my laptop and insisting he watch the final moments of the launch.

I’m glad to say that everything went successfully, and the four brave astronauts are on their way to the International Space Station as I type – apparently carrying iPhones, urine filters and other  ‘necessary’ items to the station.

Here are the astronauts talking about getting selected for this mission:

And here they are this morning, getting kitted out and making their way out to the launchpad:

So I wish the astronauts well as they carry out their mission, and also wish that at some point in my life I inherit (from whom I have no idea) an ex-NASA astrovan for what would be an awesome road-trip (how could it not be in a silver beast like that!).