"GLS is go for Main Engine Start,” said the same Controller.
"Main Engine start. Three engines up and burning!"
A huge cloud of billowing white steam erupted as a wave of sound crossed the lagoon in front of Joshua and Rachel. It hit the onlooker's chests hard and a similar wave of vibrations ripped through the very Earth. Those who were watching could feel the power of Opportunity as her three Main Engines came alive, ready to slip the gravity binding it to the globe and carry those seven brave astronauts skyward. They could no longer see the Shuttle, a massive, puffy, white cloud obscuring it from their sight.
"3... 2... 1... Booster ignition! And... LIFTOFF of the Space Shuttle Opportunity on its historic, first mission to re-supply and re-crew the International Space Station as Opportunity takes the first openly gay astronaut to the stars. And the vehicle has cleared the tower."
Joshua and Rachel held each other tightly, watching as suddenly, the point of the orange fuel tank and white solid rocket boosters pierced through the cloud. Then the Orbiter itself, as the whole, enormously powerful rocket stack blazed a trail skyward. The ground ceased its quaking, but the hard-hitting chest thumps continued.
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