I just watched the Space Shuttle Endeavour blast off!
It was sheer dumb happy luck on my part, as I just happened to check ksl.com twelve minutes before lift off.
It was enthralling. I watched all the equipment maneuvering off the shuttle as the minutes ticked down. I watched the steam/smoke/whatever that is (NASA? Do you know?) waft from the engines. At 1 minute, 30 seconds I panicked in sympathy for the astronauts on board. I mean, honestly, how do you hold it together at that point? I almost jump overboard just riding Splash Mountain!
At this point in the countdown, I began to encounter what I have diagnosed as "Space Shuttle Barf Syndrome." It happens every time I watch a space shuttle take off. Heck, it happens every time I watch 'Apollo 13!' I can only explain it as extreme antsiness bordering on throwing up into my hands. I just have severe sympathy nerves for those people involved. And I pray. And I hope I didn't tune in just to see the Space Shuttle blow up, 'cause that would scar me for life, and honestly -- who needs that? So I pray some more. I have another wave of nausea for the families of those people madcrazy enough to belt themselves into a nuclear-strength rocket about to blast them into outer space. Pray. Sit on edge of seat.
The engines lit into incredible flames and 4, 3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF!!! I don't know how they do it, but I watched that baby shoot all the way into the atmosphere. It was incredible.
In fact, I cried.
Call me crazy, but watching these amazing, peaceful accomplishments performed by us -- man(andwoman)kind -- does powerful things to me. Kinda spiritual, if you will.
So with tears in my eyes I watched from the camera on board as the shuttle rose safely through three different orbits (did they just say 40,000 miles per hour!?!?!) and eventually separate gently from it's booster engines. I felt good. I felt real good.
Holy granola bars, that round blue orb is our planet -- and I'm on it. Right now.