On Saturday, May 30th, SpaceX had made history as the first private space company to launch humans into space from the United States. It was the first time humans had been launched into space from American soil since 2011. The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday of the same week, but it got scrubbed due to weather 20 minutes before the launch window.
I had attended the launch with a few friends and my dog at Ponce Inlet along the shore. There were tons of people lined up on the jetty waiting for this monumental moment that will let the U.S. take back their space program. Prior to this flight, NASA was paying Russia around 80 million dollars for a seat on the Soyuz to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS). A SpaceX Falcon 9 with the Dragon capsule that the astronauts use to dock with the ISS only cost about 50 million to launch.
My friends and everyone there were very excited about this moment and did not think it was going to happen because of the weather, again. But… All systems were go, and we all had our phones watching the launch live and waiting for a rocket to appear in the sky. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, and we did not get to see much more than a small stream of exhaust from the Falcon 9 through the clouds. The rocket had successfully launched, and the crew docked to the ISS 18 hours later to join the existing crew.
I was so glad I got to be there to witness this history, and it very much reminded me why I came to Embry-Riddle in the first place and what most of us hope to be a part of one day. I cannot wait to take part in the space industry and see what else we can achieve.