Thu, 25 Sep 1997 23:07:54 -0400 (EDT)

I just came in and can confirm from personal observation that the shuttle 
has been launched.  The SE horizon was cloudy/hazy and I was not sure 
whether we would be able to see anything.  I was scanning with binoculars 
when my wife Judy yelled "there it is" picking it out through a tree due 
south of us.  It was much brighter than I expected through the haze. I 
then picked up STS with the binoculars. There was a little tail going up 
like this   ./    and a longer, brighter tail downward   \
There were several pulses with flame on for a second, then off for a few 
seconds.  Shuttle finally set behind trees in east.

This is about the 5th or 6th live launch seen from here in New Jersey.
It's still exciting.

Jay Respler
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