Friday, June 22, 2007

SONIC BOOM! Space Shuttle Lands at Edwards

The Space Shuttle Atlantis landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base at 12:49 p.m. today, just 80 miles north of Los Angeles, due to unsatisfactory weather conditions out in Florida.

For Angelenos, that means one thing: sonic boom!

Back in November 1981, as a wee Militant Angeleno, I witnessed (well, barely) the landing of the second space shuttle mission. The family took a day trip up to the desert and I got to see a small white dot flanked by two smaller dots land in the Mojave. I did hear two thundering sonic booms a couple minutes before the landing though.

Here in the city, one usually hears their windows slightly rattle, not as much as an earthquake but more like the sound of a child's fist lightly pounding on the window twice.

So I used my trusty Sharp MiniDisc recorder and placed it on my front porch to capture the moment. Interestingly enough, I couldn't hear it inside while I watched the landing on TV. But a review of the MD audio, amidst the sound of nearby construction equipment, wind chimes and the calls of chirping birds (refugees from the recent Griffith Park fire), came up with a couple booms. Turn up your speakers (a subwoofer is strongly recommended) and take a listen to this mp3 (Don't worry, the RIAA won't getcha)!

User Joehadenuf on however made a more dramatic-sounding recording (complete with a congratulatory, "Yeah!" and barking dogs). Check it out here.


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