This is our 300th Lofty Ambitions post. Perhaps this is some tortured logic, but it almost didn’t happen. There would have been a 300th post, but it almost wasn’t about being out in the Mojave desert together and watching Endeavour‘s arrival/departure sequence at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC).
On Wednesday, while Anna put her working life back in order after five days spent at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Doug watched Endeavour depart KSC and then made a beeline for Orlando, the airport, and a hoped-for flight back to Orange. The schedule was ambitious. Even after Doug’s arrival back in Southern California, we were facing a same-night drive to Palmdale so that we could be at DFRC the next morning in time to pick up our media credentials and make our way to the viewing area. Weather intervened, and Doug’s flight was delayed into Houston. He arrived just moments after his flight to John Wayne International–our favored local airport–had already departed. Doug quickly made his way to United’s customer service area and asked the woman behind the counter for the next flight to any of the Southern California airports: LAX, Burbank, Ontario, or Long Beach. Anything. If he could make it to the other end of the concourse in three-and-a-half minutes, he could have the last seat on a flight to Ontario. And so it went: flight, drive, credentials, hurry-up and wait. Over the next twenty-four hours, Endeavour arrived and Endeavour departed. Here’s the video.