Take Off in the Shuttle Launch Experience at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Many people have been in a plane and know the feeling of acceleration and of take-off, have seen the earth from a plane window, up above, like a bird. It’s a wonderful vantage point and perspective, different and sometimes unexpected.
Now, try and imagine going higher, thrusting off with more and more power and louder and louder sound. Think about being strapped into such a small space, encased in a bulky, cumbersome suit. Realize that you can’t breathe normally any more like you can on a plane, but that you have a permanent oxygen mask.
Visualize the landscape—not just rivers snaking along, glinting in the sunlight, or mountains folded like blankets, or lakes that don’t seem so large after all—not just this, but all of it slowly receding, getting smaller as you shoot ever upwards, instead of flying sideways. The rivers and mountains diminish and you begin to see a bigger horizon, then the curve of our earth, then part of the sphere, then a whole sphere. Wow!! That ball down there is our earth! That’s the astronaut’s view, which most of us will never personally experience, but you can do it vicariously here.