Happy Days
December 21, 2004 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Besides the standard answers (births, graduations, weddings, etc.), can you pinpoint a happiest single moment of your life? What was it?

Here's mine...I went on a University exchange to England in fall 1995 for a semester. Before travelling to England, I landed in Paris and spent a week there, staying in hostels and exploring the city. One day was spent in the Louvre which turned out be a bit disappointing after the build-up it got in guidebooks and from people I knew who'd visited it. Slightly depressed, I left the museum and ended up in a nearby park that had a fountain in a circular pool and with benches surrounding it. I bought a can of iced tea from a vendor for the equivalent of $6 Canadian and simply sat and watched the people passing by for nearly an hour.

It was truly a perfect moment. Everything else going on in my life - homesickness mixed with the excitement of my first trip abroad, being fairly broke, the disappointment with the museum, a bit of nervousness about the approaching semester - dropped away and I felt a beautiful balance and contentment that I've approached at other times but perhaps never fully experienced since.

(PS - Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays everyone!)
posted by Jaybo to Grab Bag (51 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
I had a near-perfect moment yesterday -- driving from Great Falls up Hwy 87 to Fort Benton, hearing a swinging holiday tune from Louis Armstrong, amazing sky above me, beautiful mountains ahead and to my right...all was right in the world, every driver I passed seemed of good cheer, and it was just *perfect*.

Take those moments of pure bliss when you can.
posted by davidmsc at 9:45 AM on December 21, 2004

When I was at imsa, one day a bunch of my friends were just lounging in what was affectionately called the "tv pit", an orange-carpeted multi-level pit in the floor of the main classroom building.

My friends and I were hanging over the various steps, some of us upside down, everyone touching. And I remembered thinking, "once I'm not here anymore, this will never happen again." And I was right.

Also, the one time I met my now ex-friend tyler, we'd been 'net friends for over 4 years and was traveling across the country to meet his new 'net girlfriend (who I'd introduced him to) and crashed at my place for the night. It was 1 AM when he showed up, and at 3 we both went to lay down on the futon, and I turned to my side to sleep, and he snuggled up behind me, spooning me. And I thought, wow, this friendship won't ever end. And I was wrong.
posted by u.n. owen at 9:48 AM on December 21, 2004

Climbing up a waterfall on the Kadunce River in northern Minnesota, with the Wilco song Pieholden Suite inexplicably stuck in my head and a bunch of water trying to push me off the rocks.
posted by COBRA! at 9:52 AM on December 21, 2004

Happiest moment? I don't think I've had it yet. Moments of beauty, sure.
One of my most memorable moments of beauty was waking up at 5 am, going down to the lake and listening to the day wake up. This was six years ago, I was camping at Turquoise Lake near Leadville, Colorado.
I take my cat with me everywhere (she loves camping, believe it or not). She sat on my lap, purring softly as I watched the sky lighten, the fingerling trout start to jump for their breakfast, then the birds waking up. Yes the bugs were horrific, even at 2 miles high, but the feeling of complete serenity I had at that moment will never be forgotten.
The cat then jumped off my lap and went fishing (seriously). She caught a minnow and brought it to me in offering, or she wanted it cooked. She's not a big fan of sushi.
posted by kamylyon at 9:52 AM on December 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

The first time I posted a social question to AskMe was the happiest moment of my life. Really.

A close second was when my wife's uncle, an avid sports fan, was visiting relatives cross country. He stopped into Detroit over Labor Day weekend and stayed with us. The hapless Tigers were playing a 4-game weekend series against the playoff bound Cleveland Indians (this was '95, if I remember right), so we got 5 family-pack (read cheap reserved seat) tickets for me, my wife, two sons and Uncle Herb and went to the last game of the series, on Labor Day. The weather was perfect for a game in the old Tiger Stadium in the fall: high in the 60's and very sunny. The Indians had won all the other games of the series, but the Tigers managed to win this one. There was a lot of good-natured bantering between us and the Cleveland fans that had driven up to Detroit for the game. (We were the only Tigers fans in our section.) After the game was over, the night wasn't done yet: Being a Monday, it was "Run the Bases" night, where kids were allowed onto the field to run the bases after the game. That was cool.

At the time I can remember thinking it would be hard to have a more perfect day.
posted by Doohickie at 10:00 AM on December 21, 2004

over a lifetime, i don't know, but a month or so ago, i had a good morning.

i woke up in a good mood. it was a sunday, so at 7am the town was silent - i opened a new bag of coffee, which smelt of chocolate, and toasted the end of a baguette. it was a bright, clear morning, but not yet hot. walking up to work through the old part of town, i stopped outside a chapel to listen to the choir. across the road two drunks were arguing softly in spanish and, further back, a cock kept crowing.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:07 AM on December 21, 2004

Doohickie: You mean that wasn't actually for a college term paper? You're going to get Metatalked!

empty threat
posted by grouse at 10:09 AM on December 21, 2004

Actually, the reaction to that thread is going into my next term paper; thanks for contributing.
posted by Doohickie at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2004

Best answer: I was outside in Alaska, on some journey of self. I had been out there for many days, my feet bloody and wet, my face coated with mosquitoes, everything either hurting or banged up. I’d been increasing the difficulties of my treks to the point of suicide and this one was getting close. Days before I had almost been swept down a river, earlier it was a bear, bad belays, crevasses. I had been humping it all day to reach a village. During that journey something happened to me. The thrill wore off; the want to see, discover -- be higher, deeper, further than others no longer ate me.

Looking back, it most likely occurred when I sprayed pressurized gas in my eye, became frustrated, and continued on. Through that day I became bitter, then exceedingly peaceful over the whole sum of situations. I no longer had the aggression, or the need to climb, to trek. I had gotten into it for many of the wrong reasons and it took a lot of pain and many years, but eventually just a little bit of gas to make me realize what I had been doing. After I got off the mountains I found a girl, began school, am now in a professional job. A very peaceful selling out, after testing the alternative.
posted by sled at 10:17 AM on December 21, 2004 [3 favorites]

Getting this thread back on track:

The first time my son went to Boy Scout summer camp, I went along as an adult leader. Getting out into the Middle of Nowhere Colorado, and really seeing millions upon millions of stars for the first time.... Priceless.
posted by Doohickie at 10:20 AM on December 21, 2004

I don't know if it was my happiest moment, but one moment of peace/beauty that has occured was when I was flying from Toronto to Boston in November this year. It was a clear, crisp day with the sun streaming in the airplane window and I had a copy of The Globe and Mail on my lap, with about twenty minutes before landing I looked out as we were descending across the Harbour and I enjoyed the moment to its fullest. Calm, quiet and peaceful was what I remember best about it. My iPod was playing Great Big Sea's "Boston and Saint John's" while on random, which made the moment that much sweeter.

The flight arriving forty minutes early also helped to set the mood, even though it's normally a ninety minute flight.
posted by carabiner at 10:23 AM on December 21, 2004

This is not so much an "absolutely happiest" moment as "relatively happiest." Compared to what had gone before. If that makes any sense, since it's subjective anyway.

Many years ago, I had been severely depressed for about a year, but had only realized it and sought treatment for a month or two. The psychiatrist initially put me on a popular antidepressant (which one isn't important to this story, and I don't want to be accused of shilling for it). Took it for a month or so with no effect. The doctor then doubled my dosage, and about a week later, I woke up one morning--an early winter day, the sun was shining brightly, and reflected off the snow. And I thought "what a beautiful day." And it was the first time in a year or so that it had occurred to me that a day could be beautiful. And I'm sure everyone's experience with depression is different, but mine really did lift that suddenly.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:32 AM on December 21, 2004

I can't really pinpoint a "single" most happiest moment, but there definitely had been a few where all was right with the world, even if it was only for a couple minutes.

One was last March. I was flying into Tampa to visit my cousin for a few days, and the weather on the ground in Tampa was overcast, hot, and muggy, with Thunderstorms forecast for later in the day. But for the last 30 minutes or so of the flight, on our descent above the clouds, it was spectacular. Huge, pure white cumulus clouds (like the top image here) as far as I could see were sharply contrasted against the deepest blue sky I've ever seen. I grew up in Catholic school, and when I was a kid, this is what I imagined heaven to look like.

Another was a few years ago, on my first visit to New Orleans. I was doing the touristy thing with my friends - eating biegnets (sp?) at Cafe du Monde, poking in and out of shops on Decatur, walking Riverwalk. At one point, two of my friends wanted to go back to another store that we had been at earlier in the day, so my other friend and I told them that we'd wait for them in Jackson Square. It was a gorgeous spring day, perfectly clear blue sky, and we sat down on the benches and people watched. We talked about life and careers and The Meaning of It All (we were 22 and 23 at the time, just after college for her, time to make Big Decisions for me), and in a moment of silence, someone, somewhere started playing Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World". I don't know if it was on a car stereo or from someone in Pirate's Alley or what, but at that moment, everything was perfect, and none of the stuff we had just talked about mattered. And when the song was over, no more music played. I still have no idea where it came from. It was at that moment that I really fell in love with that song, and more in love with New Orleans. (In fact, I'm going back next week!)
posted by AlisonM at 10:49 AM on December 21, 2004

At a Unitarian camp when I was 15ish, sleeping on the dock with 3 close friends, and then waking up to a beaver chewing on the legs of the dock right beneath me and the sun rising over the lake.

I haven't thought about that beautiful moment for years. Thank you for reminding me of it.
posted by raedyn at 10:57 AM on December 21, 2004

Back in early 1990, I became a novice monk in Thailand for several days, in honor of my grandmother who recently passed away. I was walking around the outside of the temple when I spotted several cats eating a large plate of rice and meat left out for them by other monks. They placed it high enough so the dogs wouldn't get to it.

I looked down a noticed a skinny kitten looking up at the table. It ran to me, so I picked it up and placed it on the high table. It stared at me for a little while and quickly turned and devoured some food.

As I walked away, I spotted the kitten jumping down to another table, and to the floor. It ran to me, but I had to head upstairs for the night. It was frightened of the long staircase to the monastery, so it actually meowed to me. I gently lifted it up and it stared me in the eyes for the entire flight up the stairs.

For some reason, that is probably the happiest moment of my life, probably 'cause I deeply felt that it was my grandmother checking in on me.

For the record, I hated cats before that. I now have three.
posted by icontemplate at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2004 [4 favorites]

I have a lot of what Maslow and his followers would call "peak experiences" with my husband, but they're too schmoopy to write about here.

My best solo peak experience was on Easter Island. I was here. The whole trip was incredible, but there was a moment when my guide led me into an ancient banana and taro plantation inside a crater that I felt my heart was going to stop with joy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:14 AM on December 21, 2004

The day I spent with my husband in Zurich - a bright, clear autumn day standing on the edge of the lake with this beautiful city behind us and the snowy Swiss Alps all around. It was especially lovely after a week in dirty, grey Milan.

The first time my husband (then boyfriend) took me in his parents' century-old boat to their cabin in the Marlborough Sounds. We spent the day lounging on the balcony in the sun, listening to the sea and the native birds and drinking wine, then spent the night on the boat with the waves rocking us to sleep. Maybe more like absolute contentment.
posted by tracicle at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2004

Catching that last minute cruise to Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina. Was backpacking, ended up at the "end of the world", walked by a travel agency that still had one cabin available. Bought the ticket, ran & bought some supplies, 15 minutes later this old Russian research boat sets off...
posted by poodlemouthe at 11:21 AM on December 21, 2004

It's not transcendental or anything, but today is actually pretty damned good. I've never in my entire life had a job I didn't loathe, and I've been really depressed (as in, I'm on medication now) about it lately. Today my job is suddenly showing signs of becoming something I'll actually enjoy, and also paying a lot more. This is awesome.
posted by squidlarkin at 11:24 AM on December 21, 2004

I was five and my dad gave me a rose for my birthday. I was in a new dress, we were going to have people over for dinner, and I don't remember any more about it than that.
It was one of those moments that are so happy that I cry when I think about it.
posted by oflinkey at 11:38 AM on December 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

Sitting on the black lava-sand beaches of a remote island in the south Pacific island with my oldest friend, watching the sunrise over native fisherman catching their food for the day.

Being half a world away from everything I'd ever known.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:47 AM on December 21, 2004

I'd say five minutes before my boyfriend dumped me.

Up until that point, I'd been living the opposite of Office Space; each day of my life was better than the one previous.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:00 PM on December 21, 2004

I've had a lot of really happy times performing in bands, those magic times when everyone is playing really well and the crowd loves you and you can do no wrong. And catching fish. And watching my daughter sleep. And some spectacular convivial social meals (cooked by moi, of course).

But *single* moment? Jeez, no. That'd be terrible anyway. It'd be all downhill from there.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:09 PM on December 21, 2004

icontemplate, I read your username as icon template, not i contemplate. Anyway, did you keep that kitten? I have to know.
posted by iconomy at 12:17 PM on December 21, 2004

The moment that the Denver Broncos won their first Super Bowl. My son and husband were on the couch, holding their breath in the last few minutes of the game, to the point I had to yell at them to breathe, breathe.....it was the culmination of years and years and years of our family following that team. It wasn't just the game, it was seeing my husband and my son as they suddenly realised it was REALLY GOING to HAPPEN.
posted by konolia at 12:19 PM on December 21, 2004

There was a time when a group of us were on the highway heading towards Chicago. We were really irritated with one passenger for making us drive him to Midway airport from Milwaukee. To pass the time and distract us, another friend in the van started telling us a story he heard on NPR about artificial insemination of elephants. The part that made us laugh so hard was that he was telling the story while imitating Gilbert Godfrey. The driver laughed so hard he had to bite his lip to keep from causing an accident and killing us all.

Pretty much any time I can laugh so hard I ache fits this category for me.
posted by onhazier at 12:19 PM on December 21, 2004

Summit day on Mount Rainier. Around 12,000 feet with only the sound of our breathing and the crunch of snow under our crampons. After climbing by headlamp for over an hour under a perfectly clear star-filled sky we crested a ridge just in time to see the first dark-purple hint of dawn glowing over the low clouds thousands of feet below us. I was exactly where I wanted to be and it would be another hour before the dry heaves started.
posted by bondcliff at 12:33 PM on December 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

When I was offered my current job. I hated my previous job because I was working 40+ hours with no benefits and no future and I had applied to work for the federal government, in addition to applying to many civilain companies, and after several months I was finally offered a position with Uncle Sam. I was so happy to tell my bully of a boss good bye!
posted by govtdrone at 12:41 PM on December 21, 2004

Best answer: When I was about 8 years old my dad woke me up in the middle of night holding my coat and slippers and put me in the car. He wouldn't say where we were going, but we started driving up a twisty little road into the mountains. Just before the top of the lowest range we stopped and pulled off onto the shoulder of the road. My dad picked me up and set me on the hood of the car, then sat down next to me and said, "look up." I lay back on the warm hood and looked up into the sky to see an amazing meteor shower, the first time I'd ever seen more than one shooting star. We sat there for a couple of hours, just silently watching the sky and holding each other's hand. Then we got back in the car and he pulled a bag of cookies out of the glove compartment and drove us home. It was exciting, surprising and made me feel so special that it was just me and my dad sharing that experience, with my mom and my brother still asleep at home. I lost my dad about ten years ago, this is one of my favorite memories of him.
posted by cali at 12:41 PM on December 21, 2004 [17 favorites]

posted by orange clock at 12:46 PM on December 21, 2004 [2 favorites]

Two winters ago my husband and I were sitting on a picnic bench at the edge of the Vedder River in BC. It was a cold, cold day but so bright it hurt your eyes. Eli was sitting on the table with his feet on the bench and I was on the bench between his feet, both of us looking out at the river. There was absolutely no sound except seagulls, some other birds, the rushing of the river and the wind in the trees. The moment seemed to last forever and yet, it was gone way too soon.
posted by deborah at 1:04 PM on December 21, 2004

There's a really interesting movie along these lines called After Life. I have trouble with the question because each happiest moment I've had tends to drown out all the other ones before it. What makes my 36 year old self happy isn't the same as what made my ten year old self happy. So, most recently, waking up this morning in a warm bed in a cold ice-on-the-windows room on the Solstice with my boyfriend and us both having the day off and getting to lay in bed together and read with cups of coffee and a quiet house was a recent highlight. I also have a watching meteor showers with my whole family memory [thanks for the reminder cali!] when we all got to stay up late and take sleeping bags in to the back yard and look at the sky.
posted by jessamyn at 1:47 PM on December 21, 2004

I'm an obsessive Springsteen fan and I still remember how right the world felt the first time I saw him and the band walk onto stage. It was the day after my birthday and I travelled for ~5 hours to be at the show...and it was worth it. A perfect night.
posted by whatideserve at 1:53 PM on December 21, 2004

When I was four I got a Handy Andy tool set for Christmas. Not the plastic Bob The Builder crap that passes for kid's tool sets today, real metal tools just like dad's. I immediately tested the saw out on the leg of the sofa. I still love tools to this day, and I miss my dad, too. He didn't leave me any money or anything, but I still use his hammer and level.
posted by fixedgear at 2:03 PM on December 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

What happens tomorrow orange clock?
posted by kamylyon at 2:28 PM on December 21, 2004

When one evening, my kid cousin thrusted a stack of papers into my hands and very panicked, she made me swear not to talk about it to anyone.
Turns out she wrote a damn good book.
And I'm the only one she trusted to read it.
I felt so unbelievably proud, I thought my heart would burst.
posted by ruelle at 2:32 PM on December 21, 2004

One of them ...

It was the summer after 10th grade. I lived in DC, but was heading up to Martha's Vineyard for a summer camp. Most of the kids that went to the camp were rich enough that they flew up to it. I, on the other hand, took an overnight train up, arriving in Boston at around 6 or 7 in the morning. The bus to the Woods Hole ferry didn't come until 10 or 11, so I had time to kill in Beantown (my first and last visit). I stopped by the Dunkin' Donuts in the train station, getting a coffee and two donuts (strawberry icing and maple icing). I walked around Newbury Street, perusing Newbury Comics, a vintage clothing resale shop, and an art supply store, where I bought a sketch pad and a charcoal pencil. I then sat on the banks of the Charles River, enjoyed my donuts and coffee, and tried drawing.

The art was awful. The coffee were delicious. The experience was incredible.

I think it had something to do with the incredible freedom I felt, wandering around this new city. For years and years after that, every time I went to Dunkin' Donuts, I got a coffee, a strawberry iced donut and a maple iced donut.
posted by Alt F4 at 2:43 PM on December 21, 2004

Best answer: Thirteen years ago this March, my 72 year-old mother and I sat drinking cappuccino in the Piazza del Campo in Sienna, Italy. We marveled at the lovely murmer of voices all around us, and at how quiet it was. It was sunny and almost warm, and there were no cellphones going off, no boomboxes, and no mopeds - just the musical murmur of Italian being spoken quietly, privately among the 100 or so people sitting in the piazza.
This moment is all the more precious when I visit my mother now and have to repeat things two or three times, and wheel her to dinner - she has Alzheimer's and is now wheelchair-bound; on that Italian trip she outwalked me two different days! Thanks for the invitation to think about this.
posted by dbmcd at 2:53 PM on December 21, 2004 [3 favorites]

Seconding what sidhedevil said about "peak experiences."....

I have amazing moments of clarity, whenever I tune in to what's really happening around me.

just off the top of my head- today. I'm elated, today finishing off the semester with an A.A., after years of going to school on and off- I was concerned about doing well in a particular class, and I just got an email from the prof. with my final grade.

The first time I went to the Summer Solstice Celebration at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC- it's been a tradition with friends ever since, and it was the most amazing thing- they begin at 3am, in pitch darkness, and as the music progresses through the night and early morning, the sun comes up and illuminates the stained glass, and then when it's over, we would go get pancakes for breakfast. I just remember sitting there, holding the hand of one of my best friends in my life, in the pitch darkness, and thinking that it was the closest to "heaven" that I would ever get.

Sitting on a glacial erratic next to a stream that ran into a marsh, in the middle of the night, with a (now ex-) girlfriend and our other friend. Fog rolling off the marsh. Chilly, early fall. We didn't say anything, we just held hands. A grey fox trotted out from the treeline opposite where we were, came RIGHT UP TO US, stood there for a moment, and then trotted away.

There are a hundred more....
posted by exlotuseater at 3:38 PM on December 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

Philadelphia Folk Festival, 2002. I was playing guitar in a drum circle and I started chanting in a call/response kind of way. Everyone was gyrating like the bacchanites, more than 50 in all. I kept chanting and strumming and as it reached a crescendo, I looked up at the moon and let out a barbaric yawp.
posted by The White Hat at 4:09 PM on December 21, 2004

Cali: that was awesome. I can hardly wait 5 more years to do that with my daughter.
posted by daver at 4:10 PM on December 21, 2004

I managed to fit into a parking spot right in front of my house with only 3 inches of clearance front+back in only one try. Certainly not the happiest, but pretty cool!

The actual happiest is difficult to sort, but it would have something to do with one of the reunions (just geographical, not emotional separations) with my wife, or something camping-like when I was a kid.
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 5:21 PM on December 21, 2004

Best answer: this whole thread makes me think of Ricky's monologue from "American Beauty", "The Life Behind Things" (Alan Ball)

Ricky: It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing. And there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it, right? And this bag was just... dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember...I need to remember. (distant) Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it...and my heart is going to cave in.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:31 PM on December 21, 2004 [4 favorites]

one of many: watching the sunset from a balcony of the centre pompidou in paris, with the eiffel tower in the distance, & all of my favorite art inside, plus a hitchcock exhibition. in the growing twilight going down to the water fountain outside which was full of the most fantastic animated creations...
posted by inky at 8:00 PM on December 21, 2004

Best answer: I remember a blessed evening, hiking on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais with my then-girlfriend who'd grown up around the area. I was deeply in love with her in a perfect, beautiful way and it was reciprocated. She wanted to show me this trail, and we liked it so much that we hiked for a long time and it was already getting dark by the time we hit the halfway point.

It became so black and still that we slowed to a crawl, feeling our way along the trail among the giant trees and under their dark canopy. Suddenly the trail opened out onto the shore of a small lake that was reflecting moonlight like milk, white and substantial.

We sat for a while, wordless, communing with each other and the spirits of the lake and the wood, if any. I was tired, cold, hungry, and wholly suffused by a sort of Apollonian ecstasy.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:58 PM on December 21, 2004 [3 favorites]

Cali, that was a wonderful mental picture you painted.
posted by OneOliveShort at 10:09 PM on December 21, 2004

Best answer: orange clock you just about made my day... I happened to have the worst day in a long time today and I had just about given up on it. That one word, in context, is filled with such optimism that it just about shook me. That totally changed the context of today. Thank you.
posted by bakerwc1369 at 12:37 AM on December 22, 2004

A recurrent one: looking at the Netherlands as my plane descends to Schipol. I see the beautiful canals, all the busy industry, the boats, the old WW2 naval gun emplacement, Marken island off in the distance... so pretty. The anticipation and excitement builds in my heart... soon I will be in Burger King, reading the Economist and eating a Whopper, my first in months or years, back in the west. Within the hour I'll be smoking high quality dope. This evening I'll be tripping on mushrooms, strolling through Nieumarket...

A silly little song pushes itself into my mind as I look and anticipate and grin to myself. I can't recall the melody, but I always manage to bring it back when I'm in that special moment, on the plane. The text is just sort of a mantra, that goes "Am-ster-dam-ster-dam-ster-dam..."
posted by Meatbomb at 1:09 AM on December 22, 2004

to be overly candid, i'll admit it was the cold snowy perfectly still morning i was released from the hospital.
posted by ifjuly at 9:28 AM on January 1, 2005

Best answer: The happiest day of my life was August 8th, 1998.

I was part of the SOHO spacecraft Flight Operations Team at that time, and we had done the worst thing possible on June 25th, we "lost" the spacecraft.

We made many attempts to contact (get RF from) the spacecraft to no avail. We would send commands to charge the battery for a few hours, and then turn on the comm system and the Deep Space Network would listen for a carrier signal. Many, many days of no joy.

On August 3rd, the Deep Space Network picked up our carrier signal. No telemetry, but at least we knew we could get commands into the spacecraft.

On August 8th we send commands to the comm system to turn on telemetry, but only 15 seconds worth because our we were power negative. It was the most beautiful telemetry I have ever seen.

We went onto recover the SOHO spacecraft. Our team got awards from both NASA and ESA. I realized then that no spacecraft anomaly would ever faze me.
posted by Fat Guy at 12:37 AM on January 12, 2005 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: It's probably unfair for me to go through and pick "best" answers but I have marked a few that I personally enjoyed the most. I didn't mark "Tomorrow" but it was a good answer too even if not exactly what I was looking for.
posted by Jaybo at 12:37 AM on December 21, 2005

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