The Upshot

Space shuttle seen from above

On Thursday, the space shuttle Discovery blasted into space for its final mission. People around the world watched the liftoff, but only a lucky few got to see the shuttle from the skies.

Passengers on a flight from Orlando, Florida to Richmond, Virginia were treated to an unexpected kind of entertainment when they saw the Shuttle off of the left side of the plane.

One quick-thinking man named Neil Monday captured the experience on his iPhone. After he uploaded the two-minute clip to the Web, searches shot into the stratosphere. The video has been featured by multiple blogs and news agencies, including MSNBC.

Monday almost never got the chance. The flight he was on was scheduled to leave two hours earlier, but a delay kept it grounded. It's probably the first time in history passengers were happy about being delayed.

The video, which you can watch below, is, of course, visually stunning, but it also contains a pretty good joke, if you listen hard enough. While Neil records the shuttle's launch, the captain can be heard over the loudspeaker saying, "Those on the right side can see the space shuttle. Those on the left side can probably see the people on the right side looking at the space shuttle."

You gotta love airplane humor.

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