So I got the opportunity to go down to Florida and see the May 11th shuttle launch in person.  It was a fun day at the Space Center awaiting the launch and while it was a VERY hot day the launch itself was very cool.  I had expected it to be cool in the whole “I’m witnessing a Space Shuttle launch” way, but it was actually just an awesome sight.  Below are the on site witness video and the official hi-res NASA vid.

Oh and the brightness of the thrust is not captured in either video.  I actually thought to myself as I watched through my 8×40 binos:  I wonder if I should be staring straight at this -shrug- oh well.  :D