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Space Shuttle Discovery Launch Party

Jamie Z
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Although not directly geocaching related, it is geocaching chatroom related, as well as space-related, which is the basis of our hobby.


It's become tradition to have a launch party in the geocaching chatroom during televised launches. Together, we've watched a couple of shuttle launches, we watched both Spirit and Opportunity land on the surface of Mars, and we watched as NASA crashed a probe into an asteroid and filmed it.


Discovery is scheduled to launch December 7, 2006 at 9:35pm EST, 8:25pm CST. It will be the first night launch in four years.


Join us in the chat room (http://gcchat.clayjar.com/) for live discussion of the launch. The launch will be viewable on NASA TV, and probably CNN. If you have neither, there are several NASA TV video streams online, found here: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html


I'll post a reminder on launch day.



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During the last launch, geocacher RocketMan joined us. He works in the space industry and told us some stories about the rockets he's been involved with. It'd be cool if he was in there again.


I've been to one launch myself, STS91, which was the last Shuttle to dock to Mir. From the viewing site five miles away, the ground vibrated and my truck shook. It's one of the most incredible things I've seen in my life.


So far as I've heard, weather is the only thing that might get in the way, and right now it's only a slight chance.


Rabit, why the smiley? Something we're missing?



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According the NASA website, the launch is rescheduled for 8:47 PM EST. We are really hoping for clear weather here in Maine. Supposedly, the launch will be visible along the coast all the way to Nova Scotia. My kids are so jazzed. We went outside all bundled up to watch on Thursday (I let them stay up late), but all we got was hot chocolate and snowed on...


The glow of the booster rockets off the snow would be awesome!


Link To Shuttle Info


Link to Launch Info

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Yup, I missed it.


Had to work tonight. Tried to schedule a break at the time of launch, but it couldn't be done. In fact, I couldn't find any news about it until I got home.


Glad it got off the ground, but sorry I didn't get to see it. Night launches are cool.



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We saw it ever so briefly up here in SW Maine.

I think what we saw was the solid rocket boosters flaring off of the main body... we saw something larger and way faster than an aircraft coming our direction... then - flash! Bright orange flare. We could barely see it for a few seconds more after that, but it was cookin'.

My kids were disappointed, but I was thrilled!

Growing up in So. Cal. I'd see rocket launches all the time in the evening or night sky. Later, living near Ventura, we could see the launches from Lompoc and most definitely heard them re-enter.

We came in and watched the video... I always cry at those things...



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From 1980 until 1985, I was one of the media spokesmen for NASA at KSC. I did launch commentaries for unmanned and Shuttle launches, and was at the press stand when I wasn't commentating. Later, I worked for Thiokol and again was at the press site for almost every launch. I saw 25 Shuttle launches in person from only 3.5 miles away. To say it is awesome is an extreme understatement.

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I remember somewhere I found a website that would list when Sats etc. would be overhead. In the pics above how would they know it was flying overhead? Anyone know that website?


Your best bet is Heavens.Above.com at http://www.heavens-above.com/. No need to register. I heard that a person can also sign up for an automated phone call at http://spaceweatherphone.com/. It lets you know when the ISS (at least) is going to fly over.

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