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Archive for the ‘Space’ Category

Atlantis Final Launch!

Hello space fans!! I am both honored and thrilled to be coming to you live from the NASA Press site!! Do to some wonderful people at NASA and the power of Twitter and the NASATweetup I was able to gain access to the press site to watch the final launch. I am literally FEET away from the countdown clock!

The atmosphere is very energetic here! There are many space enthusiastic people in the TweetUp tent. Our spirits and hopes are high that the weather situation improves and we will be able to launch Atlantis on time. It is quite an experience to have communicated with so many of these people on Twitter and now to be sitting in the sane tent with them and experiencing the very last shuttle launch is both very rewarding and a little sad to know that a shuttle will never launch from here again.

The sun is starting to come up now at the press site and we are soon going to hear from some Astronaut veterans and a few of the many people who make a shuttle launch possible.

I’ll continue to update as my excitement allows!!

-Mark Clemente

STS-135 – NASA’s final Shuttle Launch

I have the good fortune and luck to be attending the final shuttle launch, STS-135. Many people are asking, what does the final shuttle launch mean for NASA? Is NASA over and done with since it will no longer have a shuttle to launch? This is both a silly and important question to ask. Of course NASA is still going to be around! But what will they be doing?

What NASA will be doing is a lot! By the end of the year NASA is launching several robotic missions to the Moon, Mars and Jupiter! And in the next few weeks a mission that has already launched will reach its destination; Vesta! The DAWN mission is quickly approaching the asteroid where it will spend a long time learning and exploring this strange little world. And then it will move on to ANOTHER asteroid. DAWN is the first mission to ever visit two celestial bodies in the same mission.

My excitement over my first shuttle launch cannot be adequately expressed in words. The inner child (and the adult) in me is jumping up and down 24/7! I cannot wait to experience everything that being at Kennedy Space Center for a launch has to offer. The people, the excitement and the uniqueness of it all. Unfortunately there is still a little voice in the back of my head that says this is also your last launch that I get to see. Which is true, this is the last shuttle launch but it is by no means the last thing to blast off from Kennedy Space Center. There are going to be a lot of rockets blasting off from the launch pads at KSC for a long time to come.

I will be tweeting (follow @mtclemente)  as much as I can from the launch to share my experience. There is also a twitter account that I co-admin (@causewaytweetup) and will be trying to tweet from as well. There is also a Twitter feed in the left column that will be posting all of the hashtags that will be associated with the launch to include; #STS135, #NASATweetup, #CausewayTweetup and #NASA. So if you are so inclined please follow along. I will also try to be posting things here and to the forums as much as I can. You can also find a link to NASA TV on the right side column where you can watch launch day activities take place.

I hope you all will join me in witnessing the final space shuttle launch and the continuing exploration of space! GO STS-135!!



  • Regulations and upgrades June 28, 2012
    Amateurs ramblings No.8 It has been a rather long while since I posted something astronomical or otherwise in nature. Thank goodness I do not work for a newspaper or a journal  since I would certainly be fired for lack of output! Over the past several months I have been busy working and trying to stay somewhat sane […]
  • Back in the Saddle January 8, 2012
    Working is taking up most of my time these days. I have been out imaging from time to time with the scope. Part of these observing runs I have been adjusting the scope and mount to produce better images. I am still working on those and trying to tune the system to produce its best. […]
  • Weather, weather… September 3, 2011
    Well folks, I have not been able to head out and observe due to the wonderful Florida summer weather. That is the only bad part of living here, that and the Florida State Bird-the Skeeter. But anywho, if you have some clear sky–download this map and head out: http://skymaps.com/skymaps/tesmn1109.pdf   Look overhead for the three […]
  • Brief hiatus August 23, 2011
    Due to my return to work after summer vacation and issues with the wonderful Florida weather, I am taking a short hiatus. I will post again this weekend after settling in to the normal work routine. Tweet
  • The Celestial Campground, part 2 August 7, 2011
    Thanks to the wonderful tropical moisture of Florida, our little celestial camping trip has been delayed for a short bit. First, let is print off the map for August before heading outside: http://skymaps.com/skymaps/tesmn1108.pdf   If you recall where we left off, we were down in the tail end of the Fishhook, AKA Scorpius. We swung […]