And BOOM, there it was! Up in the sky, right on time. Precisely on time.
Late evening, 8JUN2008. I was set up on the tool box of my truck, 8x40 binoculars in hand, glancing at my watch occasionally. Then, there was a BRIGHT light peeking out from behind a tree, kind of, no, Exactly to the northwest. Moving? Yes, moving FAST. I fine tuned the focus of my glasses. I couldn't make out any detail - - It was just a very bright, white light. Did I say it was fast? I've seen jet aircraft at low altitude go across my sky faster, but never with any altitude. I watched it the entire sweep. I was a little close to the trees to my immediate SE, but the light was dimming rapidly at that point. I lost it behind the trees about the time it got too dim to see.
I had seen the International Space Station, with the Space Shuttle Discovery docked. Real time, no video, no film - - live action from outer space, boys and girls.
Total duration of this viewing? Maybe 40 seconds, perhaps over 50. Who cares? I saw it. It was very worthwhile. My thanks to Elder Son for giving me the time and spotting information. I was kind of, sort of, uh, PROUD, in a strange way. I've been quietly advocating for the space program since before we really HAD such a thing.
I've been disappointed that the effort got stalled for so long. But this, this was tangible, visible evidence that we DO have human beings up there, out beyond the atmosphere. Okay, maybe not in way far, DEEEEP Space, but, right on out there. And the dream lives on.
I climbed down from my truck bed and headed into the house. I was smiling.
I hope your evening went as well.