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Dramatic space shuttle photo garners fame

Stefanie Gordon's plane ride from New York to Florida started off typical. She sat in her usual aisle seat and sprawled out in the empty seats next to her.

The Delta flight took off from LaGuardia Airport at 6:29 a.m. Monday so the 33-year-old - originally from Rockland County in New York but now living in Hoboken, N.J. - took a nap and awoke about a half-hour before landing.

The pilot did his "typical weather announcement" and said "we might see the shuttle."

A couple of minutes later, Gordon said she moved over to the window seat, looked outside and saw the space shuttle Endeavor climbing through the clouds for its last ride.

"There it was," said Gordon, a graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Tuesday afternoon.

She took a few pictures and a few seconds of video on her iPhone 3GS, and so did other passengers she said.

The plane landed at Palm Beach International Airport around 9:30 a.m., and while she waited for her parents - who live in Lake Worth - to pick her up, she uploaded the pictures to her Twitter account.

She was planning on spending the day with her dad since he took the day off from work.

At the time she had about 1,000 followers mostly sports fans and her friends.

By Tuesday afternoon, she had over 4,000 followers, including NBC News and President Obama, and her picture has been broadcast by television stations, printed in newspapers and spread all over the Internet.

"I've posted hundreds of pictures to Twitter before about random things from ugly outfits to baseball games to pictures of the Manhattan skyline," she said. "So posting pictures of the shuttle, I didn't really think that it would get the attention that it has."

She was first contacted by MSNBC through her Facebook account.

Then news stations and newspapers from all over the country started contacting her including NBC, CBS, and The Huffington Post.

She's excited about all the fame and chatter but would be "ecstatic" if all the talk brought her a job.

She says she's not picky but her dream job is to work in the events or promotions department of a major sports team or league.

Not here in Florida though, she says. She doesn't like the epidemic of love bugs that are stopping her from getting a tan. She'd prefer New York.

She hasn't been able to do what she came to Florida to do yet - spend time with her parents - she said, because she has been trying to manage her LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (@Stefmara) and Foursquare accounts.

But Monday night, her and her parents went to dinner at Lucille's Bad to the Bone BBQ and she said to her parents, "Phones away. We are going to have dinner."

"It's been really overwhelming," said Gordon who plans to fly back home Friday. "You always think, 'Oh I wonder who will see this picture'."

Palm Beach Post social media editor Tiffini Theisen contributed to this story.

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