Monday, December 01, 2008

Did You Hear the Sonic Boom?


(Los Angeles Times pic by Gary Friedman.)

The Space Shuttle Endeavour touched down at Edwards Air Force Base Sunday afternoon at around 1:25 p.m. We were just coming out of a movie, and so missed the famous sonic boom. Darn. (Endeavour was forced to land here due to bad weather in Florida. The landing here means the shuttle must now be placed on a jet and sent back East.)

One of these days, I'd love to make the trip out there to see a landing... but unfortunately, they come so infrequently -- and usually with little notice -- that I don't know when that's going to be possible.

Had the Space Shuttle Challenger not exploded in 1986, there's a chance we'd regularly be viewing Space Shuttle launches out here on the West Coast. That's because Vandenberg Air Force Base had been selected as the home to the shuttle's west coast operations. The Air Force's first Space Shuttle flight -- STS-62-A -- was scheduled for the summer of 1986 -- but the Challenger disaster put that on ice. The west coast program was eventually scrapped all together.

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