(Besides participating in the 2013 Blogging A to Z April Challenge, I'm also participating in National Poetry Writing Month. In NaPoWriMo, I'm to write a poem a day for the whole month. Here is the poem for the 14th day.)
Space Shuttle Reference Manual
T minus 10, "go for main engine start" issues.
Flares ignite and burn away residual hydrogen.
A half second later, computers open valves.
(We have only breaths to consider.)
Liquid hydrogen and oxygen feed the turbopumps.
T minus 6.6, main engines ignite at intervals.
Engines throttle up to 90 percent in 3 seconds.
(If we had regrets, the time has passed.)
At T minus 3, ignition sequence begins.
At T minus zero, holddown explosive bolts
and umbilical explosive bolts blow.
We are completely committed.
Solid rocket boosters ignite. The beast roars.
The shuttle climbs into the golden sky.
Empty boosters fall in the azure ocean.
Gravity holds us until we are finally free.
(Copyright 2013 by Stephen B. Bagley. From Undying: Poems of Fantasy & Science Fiction. No copying without express prior permission. Thank you for reading.)