Attending university in Florida is my escape from the cold. Attending Embry-Riddle, well that’s me running towards opportunity. Riddle has a lot to offer, and with about an hour drive from Kennedy Space Center you’re bound to witness a few launches.
On February 6th, SpaceX successfully launched what is now the world’s most powerful operational rocket – the Falcon Heavy. As a writer, and sometimes journalist, there is nothing better than a good story. I find that the best stories are the one’s we witness.
To watch history be made and, in a very indirect way, be a part of that history is an opportunity we should never deny. The launch was on a Tuesday and I may have had classes… For the record, I in no way condone skipping classes! I made sure to get any work done ahead of time and got notes from friends. I also willingly accepted any penalties. It’s also my senior year, so I decided to treat myself with some rocket fuel, but I digress.
The Falcon Heavy was originally scheduled for 1:30 PM EST in Cape Canaveral with an available launch window until 4:00 PM, but due to upper level winds the launch time was changed several times. The last available launch time was scheduled at 3:45 PM. With only a 15 minute launch window, not accounting for the time needed to load propellant and liquid oxygen prior to the launch time, my friends and I were accompanied by an equally anxious launch audience of over 400 people (that was in our viewing area alone). On the dot at 3:45 PM, jaws dropped and everyone was in awe at the huge plumes of exhaust and smoke that trailed behind the Falcon Heavy.
Its 27 engines carried the Tesla roadster, and many other interesting payloads, beyond what our naked eyes could see as we desperately snapped whatever pictures we could of our own.
We were a good 15 miles from the actual launch site, but we could still feel the heavy winds left behind followed by that endearing ‘boom’ you can only enjoy from a rocket launch. This one was better, though. It’s only my second rocket launch, but definitely not my last!
Space development and research is exciting for those that follow it, but SpaceX popularized it with the Falcon Heavy launch. There are people who find it controversial, but it’s nearly irrefutable that the launch reminded us that space exploration is amazing. It’s fun, exciting, and it certainly deserves our attention beyond February 6th. I could be a little biased though…