Today’s launch of the space shuttle Discovery was our first attempt to view the ascent literally from our back yard. The shuttle was clearly visible for more than a minute, rising high above the horizon on a column of flame and smoke before disappearing behind a cloud shortly before solid rocket motor separation.

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Planetary Scientist and Asst. Professor of Physics at University of Central Florida; Movie Buff; Trekkie; Jethro Tull fanatic; part-time actor, piano player, writer; and full-time husband and father.

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