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.
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.