By virtue of a winning bid at Poncho, Ben and Lisa flew to Cape Kennedy on a Boeing Corporation
private jet to take a private guided tour of the space shuttle launch facilities and watch the launch of
for the early morning of December 3, 1998.
We visited the space museum, toured around launch complex 39A with STS-88 Endeavour on
the launch pad, and went inside the vehicle assembly building and stood under another
space shuttle being refurbished (mostly tile repairs).
We got up in the wee hours of December 3rd and took a shuttle bus to the launch
viewing area near Banana River, about 3.5 miles from the launch pad. The countdown made it to
T-19 and then the launch was scrubbed because one of the people reporting
status did not report quickly enough. There was only a 10 minute launch window because
STS-88 had to rendezvous with the International Space Station already in orbit.
Lisa decided she did not want to risk any more scrubbed launches, so she flew back the next
day, and Ben stayed to try again the next night. Fortunately the second attempt went off without
a hitch. See
for all the details on this mission.