I love NASA. I know that Representative Gifford’s husband is on this mission and the media will try to play this up. I’m happy that Gabby is improving but this is about the shuttle.
Less than 10 minutes before the launch, Kelly could be heard from the cockpit, saying: “It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop.”
Endeavour, which was originally scheduled to launch in November, blasted off 1 ½ weeks after its highly anticipated April 29 launch was scrubbed because of problems with the ship’s hydraulic system.
The scrub — just moments before astronauts were to board the shuttle — came as Giffords looked on. President Obama, with his wife and daughters, had also flown in for the launch. This time, the president is headed to Tennessee to survey flood damage and speak at a high school graduation.
On Monday morning, Kelly and the other five members of the crew, each clad in orange flight suits, boarded the “Astrovan” bound for Launch Pad 39A. Endeavour, riding piggyback on a huge orange fuel tank, waited for them, glowing brilliantly under the influence of powerful spotlights.