SOMEWHERE ON THE ROAD TO KENNEDY SPACE CENTER -- As the dateline would suggest, I'm in transit. In what has become a series of lines, that lead to more lines, I am on a bus bound for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center - another in a series of stops - that will eventually take me to the causeway that sits about 4 miles from Pad 39A, currently hosting a Space Shuttle for the final time.
OV-104, more commonly known as Space Shuttle Atlantis, began fueling a little past 2:00 AM here in Florida, but weather - not technical readiness - appear to be the big obstacles to an on-time launch at 11:26 AM ET. NASA gives the launch about a 30% chance of taking place with a chance of thunderstorms in the area. As a baseball fan .300 are odds I'll take. Much of this day, I suspect, will be spent playing the waiting game.
So there's no confusion, my beat remains commercial aircraft, and my business here in Florida is separate from any official Flightglobal coverage, but seeing an opportunity to see a shuttle launch in person, I seized it, which is not to say I wasn't going to write something about the goings-on here at the cape.
More from Florida to follow as the morning rolls on, but it's just shy of 3 AM now, and I'm going to try and briefly add to the 90 minutes of sleep I got "last night" while I still have the chance. JO, out.