The Landing of the Endeavour, STS-111
June 19, 2002 - 1:57:41 PM EDT (9:57:41 GMT) - Runway 22 at Edwards AFB, CA
The Crew of 'Check-Six' Was There!!!
We here at Check-Six are based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. And being Californians means our lives are simply not complete without witnessing a shuttle landing at Edwards AFB. So when the crew of STS-111 and Expedition 4 were waved off from landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for two days straight, only one thing comes to mind (other than the bad weather in Florida), the shuttle is coming to town. Maybe.
On a epic road trip, backed by a Jeep and a prayer, we ventured out from the Bay Area at 4 AM on the morning of the 19th. Weather prospects for Edwards were not the best, but they were better than that of Florida that day. A 'Check-Six' crew member, too sick to make the journey with us, relayed to us mission-critical information from the NASA website and television channel as we progressed south-ward.
Several hours later, around 10:30 local time, we arrived at the north gate of Edward AFB. The vehicle in front of us, a large white van filled to the brim with children, was turned around at the gate, but we were let through without delay (having the proper stickers can make all the difference). We promptly preceded to the viewing stands high on the bluffs overlooking Rogers Dry Lake and the runways just off of Rosamond Blvd. A small crowd had gathered at the bleachers and, after a short wait, the valley echoed with two thunderous sonic booms, and all eyes turned to the sky to view the descending machine glide from the heavens.
The pictures say it all!
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