Shuttle launch from an airplane

Here’s something people on terra firma — or above it — will only see one more time: A space shuttle launch, viewed from an airplane. Stefanie Gordon of Hoboken, N.J., got this shot of the shuttle Endeavour while flying to Florida today

Even after all of these years, this video is still one of the coolest moments …

It was a cloudy day in Florida, which means all of the people who took the day off for the once-in-a-lifetime trip to see a shuttle launch, saw only a few seconds of it. But what a few seconds! (h/t: @treyratcliff)


Starting with the second orbit today, Roseville native Paul Dye took his spot in Houston as flight director. I profiled his work in this 2006 story.

All of the viewing times of the shuttle from the St. Paul area will be early morning. The next possibility is Sunday May 29th at 4:55 a.m., when the shuttle will pass from 10 degrees above the southwest horrizon to 33 degrees above the Eastern horizon. It will be visible for four minutes.

The best viewing will be in the Austin area. It’ll pass nearly overhead.

  • RadioNed

    Nice summary, Bob. Thanks

  • Ryan V.

    I was flying from Dallas to MSP this morning at about that time and I hoped in vain to see a glimpse of this.

    I vaguely recall seeing the plume from an airplane back in the early 90’s, but I was young and it could have just been a dream or a story.