In my childhood, I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. In my young adulthood, I heard the Challenger explosion by radio. Now I’m raising a rocket scientist. I will never take a successful launch or landing for granted. I hold my breath. I cheer.

In this concluding Discovery mission, dramatic launch decisions had to be made during the countdown. I don’t think I could do that. I hesitate to press “Publish” on my blog posts. So I celebrate the more courageous among us.

And I share someone’s YouTube home video instead of the official ones. NASA spokespeople are stoic. They depend on us to do the cheering.

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011

Photo from video uploaded by William, AKA Bullet1984

YouTube 02 24 2011 kids screaming over shuttle launch
YouTube 02 24 2011 kids screaming over shuttle launch