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Mayor Annise Parker witnesses Atlantis launch in Florida with Houston posse

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Mayor Annise Parker, shown in this file photo with partner Kathy Hubbard, is ready for some summer fun. Photo by Dalton DeHart
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FOA (Friend of Annise) Barry Mandel was also onsite. Photo by David A. Brown
John F. Kennedy Space Center
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Who's to say Mayor Annise Parker doesn't enjoy a good spectacle?

According to her Twitter account, she witnessed Friday morning's liftoff of the space shuttle Atlantis in Florida. Around 11 a.m., she tweeted (via text), "Atlantis off! Spectacular sight. I cried from the moment I saw the engine flare.-a."

The retweets ensued.

 Will the mayor stop for the red lights in our fellow red state? Word on the street is that tourist-heavy Orlando isn't camera shy.

 And Parker's not the only H-Town space cadet in Cape Canaveral this morning. Discovery Green president Barry Mandel updated his Facebook status, "Leaving the launch of the last shuttle. Even better, Mayor Parker saved us seats with her. her Mom, Kathy and their daughter. God speed Atlantis. Thanks for the memories NASA and Johnson Space Center."

Mandel was accompanied by his partner, Scott Sawyer, and while it was the former's first visit to the Kennedy Space Center, Sawyer had previously attended three shuttle launches that never coalesced.

"The fact that it was the last one is why I came," Mandel tells CultureMap, adding,

It was incredible, but I talked with Annise about how it's also bittersweet. It's the last shuttle launch. Here at Kennedy, they're going from 12,000 people on that project to 200. Also, there's the fact that we don't have a shuttle to take home with us. Considering the impact of the Johnson Space Center, it's a shame that we don't get one."

Parker, Mandel and Sawyer were surrounded by a group of scientists from Houston's Johnson Space Center. Mayoral press rep Janice Evans tells CultureMap that the Florida visit marks the beginning of her family summer vacation.

We know what you're wondering but are too afraid to ask: Will the mayor stop for the red lights in our fellow red state? Word on the street is that tourist-heavy Orlando isn't camera shy.

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