Space Shuttle Endeavor Launch: Passenger On Commercial Flight Takes Photos, Video of Launch

by Kate Auletta Subscribe to Kate Auletta's posts Posted May 16th 2011 01:00 PM



An estimated 500,000 people watched the early-morning launch from the ground, but a lucky passenger on a flight from New York to Palm Beach captured the launch on video from her seat.

Stefanie Gordon was thankfully seated on the side of the plane that got a magnificent view of the launch.

Check out a view of the launch from the ground here.

WATCH her quick, breathtaking video from her twitter page below:

Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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@alfredschrader -- $37 billion??? Just where are you getting your facts (as well as your logic) -- out of a box of Cracker Jack, or just plain Crack? Your figures are only off by $20 billion a year (NASA's budget is a little over $17 billion for FY2011 -- which works out to about $60 to $100 per year per taxpayer, which in turn is, at most, $1.92 a week or $0.27 cents a day). If NASA's budget *were* $37 billion (as many would actually wish), it would still be quite the bargain basement price in comparison to what is spent each year alone on Defense, or Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare or any other social welfare program in the U.S. federal budget.

May 18 2011 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cedric July

Wongtpa, The shuttle program was slated to end before Obama took office. You do realize that the shuttles have long outlived there expected lifespan. This is from 2006:

Atlantis will be the first of NASA's three space shuttles to be retired, most likely in 2008, as the shuttle program winds down in four years, a senior agency official said Tuesday.

Atlantis' parts will be used by the remaining shuttles, Discovery and Endeavour, until the aging spacecraft are mothballed in 2010, shuttle program manager Wayne Hale told workers at the Kennedy Space Center last week.

Atlantis, which began flying in 1985, as the fourth orbiter in the fleet launched from Kennedy Space Center, was chosen for retirement first since it was scheduled for maintenance, a process that could take two years.

The shuttle was named after the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966, because that vessel explored what was thought to be the final frontier.

When Atlantis was built, it weighed 7,000 pounds less than the first shuttle, Columbia.

The $3 billion shuttle likely will have four or five more flights to the international space station before retirement.

Due to the extent of repairs Atlantis is slated for, it would be sidelined for most of the current shuttle program's lifespan even if not retired, a NASA spokesman said.

"The reasoning is instead of taking it off-line for two years and spending a lot of money to return it to flight when it probably would fly only one time at the most, why spend that extra money, when you don't need to?" NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham said Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center.

NASA has planned 17 more shuttle flights before the program ends in 2010.

The next-generation vehicles are expected to be ready no later than 2014.

Most of the nearly 15,000 NASA and contractor employees at the space center work on the shuttle program, but they likely will be unaffected by the retirement of Atlantis, Buckingham said.

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May 17 2011 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

No more shuttles, thanks Obama! What else will Obama kill? Our quality of life!

May 17 2011 at 1:32 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wongtpa's comment

The entire space program has been a tremendous loss of taxpayer money. We could have found a cure for heart disease or cancer if those funds had been used for health research. We finally have a President who knows how to correctly prioritize where the national treasury is allocated. Unfortunately,
most everything he attempts to accomplish is defeated by racist members of Congress.

May 19 2011 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this photo reminds me too much of when the Challenger exploded. Not fun to look at.

May 17 2011 at 12:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately, our current President decided to scrap the NASA mission to return to the Moon so that we may harvest Helium-3 (not available on Earth, but covering the Moon); the isotope that will make Nuclear Fusion possible, Nuclear Fusion which is the Ultimate Clean Energy; but instead he has set a new mission for NASA.
Helium-3 is.

Our current President has decided to use the team of NASA Scientists to go To the Middle East and say, "Hey Muslim's, you guys are OK (picture them giving Thumbs-Up), you know that whole inventing of Base-10 Mathematics, you are really Cool!"
So NASA has been removed from Space Exploration and is now relegated to Political Butt Kissing.
Thanks Obama.


May 17 2011 at 12:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to onefatjohn's comment

i just "got" your One Big A** message. Pretty good!

May 17 2011 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Phelps

You do realize the shuttle program is 35 yrs old...we have done nothing beyond going back and forth to an aging space station. It is time to move on, unfortunately the last president wanted to go back to the moon. He conveniently didn't budget a dime for that either. There are many other NASA programs coming down the pipe including the new generation space plane. The end of the shuttle means more time and money to spend on the other projects. The program was never developed to create jobs, it was developed to explore space.

Bush cuts manned flight & shuttle pused nuke tech.

Obama increased NASA budget by 6 bil. nixs moon flight

May 17 2011 at 12:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Alphonso Carioti

Wow... Thats an unusual view... Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

May 17 2011 at 11:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


In just a few short weeks 10,000 of America's highest ranking Aerospace engineers will be sent to the unemployment lines. If this is Obama's idea of boosting America's economy and keeping America strong then he deserves to be replaced. I can not fathom an American President doing to our space program what he is doing and trying to get away with it. Will the American people continue to sacrifice America's strengths to keep the lazy, illegal, and the addicted supplied with services at the expense of the working class? Obama is destroying the working class. He pledged to not tax the middle class but has forgotten that, as he has many if not ALL of the promises of transparency and HOPE and CHANGE...???? How stupid will America continue to be? It is time for a hopeful change in 2012 and this time it won't be Obama and his fake bravado that gets the vote. Evict the fool.

May 17 2011 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

what a lucky shot, unreal

May 17 2011 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 17 2011 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply