Penny Fischer Orell (
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 20:24:45 -0400

Jay and all,

I also saw the launch last night from my site just a few miles north of Jay's.
As he described, the plumes were clearly visible and I would say the shuttle
was at magnitude -2.0. What made it especially great was that we watched the
"initial" part of the insertion on CNN. When the solid rocket boosters
were separated, we went outside and tried to find the best spot away from
the trees.  As we were looking, the shuttle came into view due south, coming
fast towards east.  It looked orange naked-eye but in 10X50's was quite a
site with the V-shaped contrail which appeared very fiery and orange.  We
watched til it blinked out in the east.  It was a thrilling experience that
I would do again in a flash.

After, my brother was listening to his scanner and had it on a channel where
everyone was buzzing
about the launch.  truly exciting!