If you live within an hour or so of the Kennedy Space Center, this unmistakeable loud double-boom will really wake you up. I think geeks who live in Central Florida are just so much more tuned in to NASA, space exploration, and what technology is all about.
I completely forgot about the Shuttle trip - I've been so engrossed in my work. But that unmistakeable sound blast woke me, and within a half a second, I knew that they were coming home.
Flipped on the TV and watched a perfect landing, and also noted that my stress level, even though perhaps subliminal, just went down a notch for not having to worry about the space program - at least for now.
Think about it. We are sending people up into space to do science and follow our human destiny, and meanwhile back here on earth, brother is killing brother in a mindless universe of hatred.
If this doesn't represent the two most polarized opposites of the human species, I don't know what does.