Countdown to Discovery launch


By 1st Lt Trisha Eldrege, Public Affairs Officer
45th Space Wing

The Air Force supports NASA’s Space Shuttle program from when the shuttle is on the ground until it leaves the launchpad. The 45th Space Wing provides NASA with launch weather forecasts, launch and range operations, and safety and public affairs support. Lt Eldrege was the media spokesperson for the 45th Space Wing at today’s Discovery launch from Kennedy Space Center (KSC). She shares her experiences from KSC’s press site as she eagerly awaits the countdown.

I’m at KSC’s press site, and we’re only about 15 minutes  from today’s Discovery launch. I’ve worked a dozen or so launches, and it never gets old. It’s always AMAZING! I’m surrounded by about 300 media. So far, no weather problems, so the AF weather officer sitting next to me isn’t  the focus of their attention. I’m looking at the countdown clock, and the shuttle is on the pad, only 3 or so  miles away. People have come from all over the world to watch this launch, and the Cape coastline is packed – very fun and festive. I can’t believe I get paid to do this job. Go Discovery!

PHOTO: NASA’s Shuttle Discovery sits on the launchpad ready to go. Photo courtesy NASA.