SONIC BOOM A FAMILIAR SOUND SHUTTLE'S EDWARDS AFB LANDING REASSURES SCV RESIDENTS.Byline: Eugene Tong Staff Writer
Gus Gesiriech waited out under the pre-dawn sky early Tuesday with his daughter and granddaughter, ready to welcome a familiar visitor from beyond.
``I was outside when I heard the boom,'' said Gesiriech, 83, of Elizabeth Lake. ``It was quite pronounced. ... I was anticipating it - it didn't disappoint me.''
The double sonic boom of a space shuttle space shuttle, reusable U.S. space vehicle. Developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), it consists of a winged orbiter, two solid-rocket boosters, and an external tank. descending toward Edwards Air Force Base Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. is a familiar thunder for many longtime residents of the Santa Clarita Valley The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. It stretches through Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita. The valley was part of the 48,612-acre (19,672. . Edwards has been the landing site now for 50 shuttle missions; the last was Endeavour in June 2002.
But for some, this sonic boom spoke of something more - the thrill of Discovery safely hitting tarmac 2 1/2 years after America lost Columbia and its crew.
``It woke me up,'' said Debbie Carleton, 41, of Newhall. ``I jumped up and turned the TV on and saw them land. I was happy.''
The sonic boom rattled the windows at Janet Sambar's home in Saugus.
``My son then turned on the television to see if they were OK,'' said Sambar sambar: see wapiti. . ``He yelled at me that they landed safely, I went back to bed.... We're just glad they made it back here safely.''
Uncertain weather in Florida prompted NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Independent U.S. officials to divert Discovery to the back-up site at Edwards, where it landed at 5:11 a.m. to conclude its two-week mission in space.
Along the way, the shuttle crossed the Ventura County coastline at Point Mugu and zoomed northeast across the Santa Clarita Valley, triggering car alarms and jolting countless out of bed.
Those lucky enough to catch a glimpse Verb 1. catch a glimpse - see something for a brief time
catch sight, get a look
see - perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight; "You have to be a good observer to see all the details"; "Can you see the bird in that tree?"; "He is blind--he of Discovery said they saw an orange point of light - brighter than the average star - cutting east across the sky before disappearing beyond the horizon.
Clint Milteer, 44, of Newhall was in the shower when the shuttle passed overhead. Though the 30-year local resident has heard the sonic boom several times before, he said this was the loudest yet.
``I just jumped out of the shower,'' Milteer said. ``It was so quiet - the city only starts to bustle bus·tle 1
intr. & tr.v. bus·tled, bus·tling, bus·tles
To move or cause to move energetically and busily.
Excited and often noisy activity; a stir. at about 6 a.m. ... It just shook the house. I heard car sirens going off.
``There was certainly a sense of relief. It landed really quick.''
Juan Bernabe, 42, said he was baking bread at his San Fernando Road San Fernando Road is a major street in the city and county of Los Angeles. It starts off in Castaic as The Old Road, passing through Santa Clarita and the Newhall Pass, where upon its intersection with Sierra Highway near the junction of the Golden State (I-5) and the bakery and preparing to open when he heard something ``like a bump.''
``I thought it was something in the oven,'' said Bernabe, owner of Jazmin's Bakery. ``I asked somebody if it was an accident or something. We didn't know exactly what it was. Everybody looked at me and said, 'What was that?'''
For Gesiriech, an aircraft technician for Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. for 35 years, it's a sound that never gets old.
``I've been around aircraft and sonic booms, and it's a bit of history and a bit of excitement,'' he said. ``It's something the kids can never forget, and I as well.''
Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253