Posts by Kate Arkless Gray

The End of a Space Era

Posted on July 25th, 2011

It’s 3.45am, I’m battling not only with mosquitoes, but also a swarm of photographers each trying to claim good spot to set up their camera to capture the final shuttle landing. We squeeze ourselves into a prime section of the balcony overlooking the 2.8 mile long runway on which the shuttle is due to land in just over two hours. A combination of smiling sweetly, being small and success with human Tetris secures me a minute spot for my camera. We’re all happy, so long as nobody dares move even a hair’s width from their position. I’ve barely slept and am already melting in the Florida heat and humidity. Two hours spent waiting to get on a bus to take me to the shuttle…

Discovery’s Last Flight

Posted on February 28th, 2011

It was the sign I had waited 115 days to see: “Days until launch: 0”. Driving towards the press site I was asking myself, “is this it? is this the day that Discovery will finally launch?” The last time I was here, I watched tearfully as Discovery’s flag was ceremoniously lowered from the flagpole beside the mission countdown clock. The launch had been scrubbed due to a hydrogen leak and all my hopes were dashed. Today though, the sun was shining, the press trucks were out in force, and I was ready to see this bird fly. Photo Joel Sartore There was a nervous pause as we heard that the countdown clock had been stopped. A problem with range control meant that at that…