In case the Atlantis mission to repair the Hubble Telescope runs into trouble and needs emergency help.
If you've never seen one of the space shuttles blast off I can only say it's one of the most dramatic and amazing sights anywhere. I was fishing with a friend in Florida several years ago, about fifteen miles south and inland from Kennedy Space Center the day of a scheduled launch. We knew it might be canceled due to weather and a small window of opportunity for launch.
As the day wore on the wind died down, we fished and almost forgot about the launch altogether. Then suddenly there was a flash and loud noise that could only mean one thing: the shuttle was blasting off. I've don't recall which shuttle it was, but will never forget the sight, the sound and the vibration of that behemoth rocket blasting off. No one moved as put down our rods and watched the lift off until it finally disappeared from sight minutes later. What a thrill I'll never forget!