After watching a television newscast, a friend had suggested going out to the coast to watch a night time launch from Titusville. Reluctantly, I had agreed for an evening excursion for the Delta 4 Launch set for 8:40 PM. Arriving early, we had parked on the soft shoulder next to the bay. People had started to populate the surrounding area with launch time approaching. With 8:40 PM arriving, mission control had temporarily stalled the launch due to solar activity.
For a few moments, the crowd had become restless with the notion of a scrubbed launch; however, one of the nearby bystanders had returned from his vehicle AM radio reporting an update launch of 8:59 PM. There was some trepidation from onlookers whether the vehicle would go up or not.
On the last minute of their launch window, NASA had launched their Delta 4 rocket. The light had illuminated the darkened sky. Moments after, the rumble of the rockets had filled the humid breezy cool air. Eventually, the booster rockets had detached into the atmosphere. Falling into the darkness, they had appeared as red specks in the horizon. One child had remarked the distant man made flames appearing like an evening star.
It was a star beyond a physical definition. It had represented the very best in man’s aspiration in enlightening self through education.
Some had wondered why we need a space program in a downed economy. I had fostered a simple reason, a feeling of hopefulness for what tomorrow brings.
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