I recently decided to take a trip down to Orlando, Florida. During the course of my first day in the state, which I spent with my father and step-mother, I was told there would be a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral! Of course, I decided I had to be there! So at 3am on Tuesday morning, I drove the hour and a half down to Titusville, Florida to watched the launch from Space View Park. It was a 90% go when we arrived, so we thought that it would go off without a hitch. With less than 30 seconds to launch, we heard the “hold” command. During the second stage, an actuator failed and it was decided the rocket would not be launched that morning. Bummer!! We stuck around for sunset though, and got some amazing pictures and had the chance to walk around the park.
The launch was then rescheduled for Friday at 5:09am and quickly rescheduled again to Saturday at 4:47am. So, at 2am on Saturday, we made the hour and a half trek back down to Titusville! I was not leaving until I saw the rocket launch! I had never thought to put it on my bucket list prior to the previous Sunday, but once I had the idea, I simply HAD to see it! We arrived just after 4am and waited in the chilly weather for the launch, out of a dock, directly across from the launch site! At approximately T-10 seconds, they launched the rocket! A bit early, but totally worth it. It was awesome!! Don’t just take my word for it, check out this video I took of the launch! 🙂
While at the launch, we met some great people, including one man who tries to make it to every single one of these launches! He sets up a TV and makes sure everyone in the park knows what’s happening. It was awesome to have him there. He was quite helpful, knew a lot about the different missions and kept us posted on both occasions. If you ever find yourself wanting to watch a launch in Florida, please do go to Space View Park and watch from the dock. You can watch the coverage before and after on the TV as well, so you know exactly what’s going on and whether the mission was a success!
The particular mission we went to see was important because they are trying to make it so these unmanned rockets can someday be manned with astronauts! For the first time, they were trying to land the 14-story tall, first stage booster on a football field sized platform off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. While they came close, it reportedly broke into pieces upon impact due to a lack of hydraulic fluid used to control the wings. The next rocket, set to launch on January 20th, has been upgraded to include 50% more hydraulic fluid, in hopes for a smoother landing! The second stage, the Dragon, is bringing necessary supplies to the International Space Station. That part of the mission was a success!
A few last pictures so you can be entirely jealous, instead of just a little bit. 😉 Please feel free to comment below!!
Yesterday’s mission to the Space Station lights up the cloudy night sky of Cape Canaveral pic.twitter.com/DFB742HaQt
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 12, 2015