one day i hope to witness a shuttle night launch at cape canaveral. i want to watch the night sky glow like its daytime from the immense thrust created by humans to shoot rockets up so fast that they escape earth's gravity!! here's an image from APOD showing last week's night launch of the space shuttle endeavour.
many many years ago when vacationing with my family in florida (like every other family from ohio and the midwest at large it seemed!), we watched a daytime shuttle launch from many miles away. we stood on the beach, delaying our long ride home, to watch a tiny little streak of smoke rise quickly in the air. we saw it rise up and heard and felt the rumble afterwards. the sound delay was so long, that i almost forgot to expect it!
it's amazing to think that we (humans) are launching something into space almost every week now, even though we only started exploring space 50 years ago!!