National Geographic

STS-130 Launch Coverage: Scrub…And A Wonderful Experience

By Susan Poultonfor Breaking Orbit

NASA has scrubbed the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour due to weather and will try again tomorrow at 4:14am ET.

As I was dozing off in the press center waiting for the countdown, I heard my name announced over the loud speaker. All of a sudden, I found myself in a van full of photographers, headed over to shoot the launch from the roof of the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building). After a very long elevator ride, we emerged on the roof into the cold and the wind, overlooking the shuttle on the launch pad.

shuttle_vab.jpg—Image Credit: Susan Poulton


The VAB is the assembly building where the Apollo Saturn V rockets were assembled and where the space shuttles parts are now mated. It’s the fourth largest building in the world by volume and the largest one story building in the world. It is the tallest building in the United States outside of an urban area. Standing on the roof of this building to watch the launch was breathtaking, can’t wait to come back tomorrow!

vab_daylight.jpg—Image Credit: Susan Poulton

—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.