I was hoping for a loving closeup of Atlantis while a voice-over recited cool facts about the Shuttle Program:
- "The three main engines produce more CO2 than 127 Senate filibusters."
- "One Solid Rocket Booster has a carbon footprint equivalent to the nation of Indonesia."
- "The exhaust plume at liftoff is large enough to incinerate ten and a half federal office buildings."
Cursing, I scuttled to the big screen in the living room and managed to get it tuned to NASA TV at about T -5:15, and was treated to the loving closeups I wanted and the quiet chatter of NASA's actual launch dialog. And as an added bonus, once Atlantis was too high to track from the ground, they cut over to the camera on the external tank. I watched until the main engines cut off and the explosive bolts fired...
Watching that ship float gracefully up off the tank and out of view in glorious living color on a big screen TV in dead silence was one of the coolest things I've ever seen on a television screen.