Wednesday, June 01, 2011

One could assume that the possible presence of high winds, slow turns, and upgrades would be the reason the crawler travels at less than its full speed, travels rather at turtle speed, half a mile an hour, but since the sight of the open skyscraper and the rocket in nine-armed embrace clanking along the Cape Kennedy moors at a rate somewhat less than one foot a second is a sight no man has ever seen before he has seen it, it is indeed a moment in the symbolic pageantry of legend perhaps not unequal to that hour when Birnam Wood came to Dunsinane: perhaps the exquisite sense of caution in Rocco Petrone which is reflected in the speed of half a mile an hour, instead of the possible rush through at twice that rate is due to some secret pleasure taken in the magnified luxury of treating all the workers at the Space Center to the pleasure of watching their mighty moonship edge along the horizon from morning to dusk, or even more spectacularly at night, with lanterns in the rigging, like a ghost galleon of the Carribean! The beginning of the trip to the moon was as slow as the fall of the fullest flake of snow.
Norman Mailer, Of A Fire on the Moon

On May 31, 2011 I got to witness Atlantis rolling out to the launch pad along with the workers at the Space Center. It was, in fact, a magnified luxury to watch the mighty [moon]ship edge along spectacularly at night. (Norman Mailer, no one can write about space more bombastically than you.)

Look closely: there are people on the crawler.

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