"Watch space shuttles & rockets launch toward space" Top 5 Page for this destination Tampa Off The Beaten Path Tip by Ewingjr98

Tampa Off The Beaten Path: 123 reviews and 192 photos

One morning I was getting ready to walk out the door to head to work just after 6:30 AM on a bright, sunny summer day. As I took one last look at the horizon and soon-to-be-rising sun, I noticed a brilliant white streak across the sky. Stepping outside I realized the lower end of the cloudy streak, that was not yet touched by the sun was brown, just above that it was reddish orange, and for the vast majority of the smoky contrail, it was a glowing white.

On the way to work I turned on the radio, and people were calling in asking about the streak. Some speculated it was a surface-to-air missile, others thought it was shot off nearby MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. But my suspicions were proven correct when the DJ finally let listeners know this was a Delta II rocket launched from 145 miles away at Kennedy Space Center, carrying the last of the Air Force's Global Positioning System satellites into space.

I never imagined you could see NASA's launches from so far away. Now I have to decide it it's worth it to see a space shuttle take off at two AM on a weeknight....

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  • Written Aug 20, 2009
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