The Discovery is, like, loud as hell
And that's with the engines shut off.
Early this morning around 5:15 AM, the Coffin home was rocked to the foundations by what sounded like the head-on collision of two speeding trains. At first I thought it was The Big One -- the first reaction of earthquake-haunted Los Angeles residents to any sound louder than a car accident -- but it was too sharp, too thunderous. The blinds shook, the bed seemed to convulse, and car alarms went off everywhere. Then utter silence.
The Discovery had landed.
She came in very low over Southern California, stealthlike, her speed considerably down from the Mach 20 of high orbit. (Think about how fast that is: 20 times the speed of sound.) But over our house it was Mach something. I grew up enjoying air shows so I know what a sonic boom sounds like.
This was the angry Godzilla of sonic booms. Cool in a macabre kind of way.