8 minutes...That's all the time it took for the Space Shuttle to reach orbit after it left the launch pad. Having the opportunity to witness a launch was truly an awesome experience. We were at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex, probably about 8-9 miles from the launch pad. First we saw the horizon start to glow when the main engines started, then it practically turned to daylight when the Solid Rocket Boosters ignited. A few seconds later we heard and felt the roar. WOW! I always wondered if the Mission Specialists sitting in the back row asked the commander "Are we there yet?" I think they would be able to tell by the silence as the engines cut out and the sudden ability to float around the cabin.