Thursday, July 16, 2009
And now I can write about it. I'm always nervous about Shuttle launchings before they happen. Now that the launch has happened we're going to see 13 people on board the ISS for the first time ever, and perhaps this will provide an interesting dynamic that has yet to exist - some personal interaction and perhaps we'll even be able to glimpse a bit of command structure coming into existence. Command structure naturally existed before but with such small teams it didn't really matter all that much.
I wonder how much longer we're going to have to wait before we can hear a classic "That's an order, lieutenant!" "Aye, sir." exchange.
Also make sure to check for ISS passes over your area when the Shuttle is docked and the new parts are installed, as the extra parts on the ISS plus the Shuttle will make it the brightest it has ever been.
The Canadian astronaut Julie Payette is from Montreal, and if you're learning French you should check out the video below. Luckily the transcript is also available here.
Edit: here are two videos of the launch. The first is the one from NASA TV, the second is an amateur video taken from nearby.