National Geographic

STS-130 Launch Coverage: Crew Departure

One of the more special moments in the marathon of launch events is crew walkout. The astronauts get suited up, wave goodbye to staff members and family and head for the van. Outside of a handful of NASA administrators who ride along in the van, the members of the press and other invited guests have the privilege of being the last folks to wave farewell to the astronauts.

shuttle_crew.jpg—Image Credit: Susan Poulton


shuttle_crewwgroup.jpg—Image Credit: Susan Poulton

The press center here at Kennedy Space Center is now hopping as we only have two and a half hours to go until launch. Weather conditions have deteriorated to only a 30% chance of favorable conditions at launch time, so everyone here is waiting anxiously for any improvements in the cloud cover and winds, but we could all be back here tomorrow night for another attempt.

—Susan Poulton works for National Geographic Digital Media and is a self-proclaimed space geek. Since graduating from Space Camp in 1987, she’s been fascinated by all things space and can’t resist sharing this passion with others. A veteran of 12 launches (and over 30 launch attempts), she has attempted to see every space shuttle launch since STS-114 in 2005.