You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be fascinated by SpaceX. Me, I was a lowly aeronautics major studying the same four basic principles: gravity, lift, thrust, drag. Captivated by the science behind transporting large objects into the air. Today was a first hand lesson in both rocket science and aeronautics.
I must say, watching a rocket launch is way better in person. The initial blasts of steam ( the pad is flooded with water to keep it cool and flames down), the orange fiery carrot-like flame thrusting the pencil-thin rocket into the sky. It wasn’t until several seconds later that we could hear AND feel that rocket ascend into the atmosphere. The salty bay water breezing through our noses to the back of our tongue. A true testament to every sense.
It was a clear day. A day where chances of scrubbing the launch was next to zero. A day we could all see rocket science in action. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was set to launch. The payload is an expandable “living room” destined for the International Space Station (ISS).
But the most interesting aspect of this launch is that SpaceX is trying to consistently land the rocket back on a barge in the bay. And they successfully stuck the landing. This is important because now they can recycle that multi-million dollar rocket and launch it again in a matter of weeks. A cost effective way to support the space program without the federal government (NASA).
I remember the Challenger disaster. I was in college and yet still had hope for space, and space for hope. Today, with new space start-ups like SpaceX my dream came true. An experience I have dreamed about since I was a young boy fully engaged by space since the early Apollo missions to the moon during the Kennedy years, the shuttle program, the ISS, and now, another space race funded by private enterprise.
A small speck in the blue sky of Earth’s atmosphere, and a smaller speck in the vast universe. Probably not, for me, a once in a lifetime adventure. AND for Woody, hope for Buzz Lightyear. As a life-long student of science, Thank You, President Kennedy, for keeping me inspired