Am I obsessed with writing about rocket launches? Yes. Will I ever not be obsessed with rocket launches? No.
So, this past Wednesday (November 10) the Crew-3 mission began with the launch out of Cape Canaveral. Since Thursday was Veterans Day and was a day off, I decided to go down and watch. One of my friends has a Discord server put together for the space enthusiasts of Embry-Riddle so that we can coordinate carpooling and discuss space news, and it’s super helpful.
So on Wednesday night, a large group of us drove down to the viewing spot. It’s funny- a year ago, on November 15, Crew-1 launched and we were watching from the exact same spot. I even rode down then with some of the same people as I rode down with this time. It’s interesting how some people who you barely knew a year ago can become some of your best friends now, bonding over shared activities and love of launches.
The viewing spot that we use for crewed launches is called Haulover Canal Bridge, and it’s got a little manatee observation deck hidden off to the side. It’s perfect for watching the launch: the pad is right across from the observation deck, and you can watch the launch curve off to the left.
We all got there about half an hour early, but it’s always better to be early than late. In the meantime, we watched the live stream and hung out. A few of us ended up getting our feet into a circle, yielding this photo:
The launch went off right on time, and it was just as beautiful as ever, even through the clouds.
After the launch, since there was a large group of us, we decided to get dinner afterward. So we all drove back to Daytona Beach and 12 of us showed up to the iHOP, where we discussed the launch, previous launches, Embry-Riddle, what to order, and a bunch of other things.
That’s one thing that I love about Embry-Riddle. While most of us didn’t know each other before the launch, we ended up as friends in the end. When we finally got done at iHOP, it was nearly midnight, and some people decided that they wanted to watch Star Wars. I was a little too tired for that, so I ended up going back to my dorm and sleeping in, which felt nice after a long week.
The rest of the week and the weekend were pretty quiet. I did a lot of homework, studied, and made sure to hang out with some friends to have an appropriate school-life balance. As for the next launch with a launch time set, according to the Discord server, is STP-3, launching on Saturday, December 4th, at 4:04 a.m. EST. I plan on going to that one too- why not? I’ve attended a 5 AM launch, so what’s one hour earlier?
I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle! (And maybe even at a future launch!)