My First Launch!

If there is anything to love about Daytona Beach, it’s how amazingly close it is to the Space Coast! You can faintly see the launches from campus, but if you really want the best view, the hour’s drive to Cape Canaveral makes launch viewing even better. Despite how close it is, I have never taken the opportunity to drive down for a front row seat. Thanks to Space Tango, I didn’t have choice – and I was completely okay with it!

I’m interning remotely from the Lexington, KY-based company as their marketing and public relations specialist, so it was only befitting to make sure I was there for the launch of SpaceX CRS-12. This launch carried not only 12 customer research payloads, but an additional TangoLab facility to double available research capacity for Space Tango Customers.

The launch was scheduled for August 14th at approximately 12:31 PM EDT on launchpad 39A, historically know for being used for the first Saturn V launch (Apollo 4) and other Apollo missions including Apollo 11. Needless to say, I was excited. Not only was it my first launch, but I was working. There’s nothing more fulfilling than doing what you love for a living!

I was also fortunate enough to have my family and friends join me for the VIP viewing at Banana Creek, which is also home to the Apollo-Saturn V Center.

I spent a solid 3 hours waiting for launch inside the center, but I was so busy exploring all the exhibits that I almost forgot about the launch! As time neared, my family, friends, and I made our way to the launch seats. Although it was scorching hot outside, it was worth every second of the countdown. I’ve NEVER seen a launch, and the moment I saw plumes of exhaust, my skin was covered with goosebumps.

We were all in awe. In almost no time at all, stage 1 and 2 had separated and Space Tango Payloads were en route to the International Space Station. I took photos, published a press release, and just like that –  my first launch was over and I’m counting down until the next one. While I started my own countdown to the next launch I’d be attending, we enjoyed our access passes to the Kennedy Space Center. That in itself was amazing and well-worth the time (there’s a limited supply, but students and faculty can purchase discounted tickets for KSC).

There are many more photos that I can share and more stories to tell about my first trip to KSC, but I’ll leave that up to you to explore and discover.

⋆ Dani


November & An Update or Two

Hello hello everyone! It is finally November! Sorry I have not written anything in a while. It has been crazy busy on my side! School has been coming along. We are almost done with the semester. We have a little bit less than a month left. This is when all your final projects and final assignments are due. I finally figured out what my MATLAB final project is going to be, a NASA database! I got the idea from a friend, Julia. She knows how much I like NASA so one day we were sitting in class and she happened to mention the idea. I sat down and did some planning with my professor and he loved the idea. I must have been in his office for about 2 and a half hours just planning. He gave me some really good ideas and we brainstormed the project. I am really happy with what we came up with so now I just have to execute it and I have a month to do it!

For my CATIA project it is moving along! We are going to measure and model 10 parts tomorrow since my caliper that I ordered finally came in! I am really excited to get working on that because like I said before, I am doing a space shuttle pullback toy. Yes, NASA again!

November is going to be full of schoolwork, schoolwork, and more schoolwork. But there is still a break for Veterans Day coming up on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Break later on in the month. I will also be going to Kennedy Space Center later in the month. It has been too long! I miss my second home!

I almost forgot! Besides the craziness of school, during one of the Society 4 S.P.A.C.E. meetings, we had a guest speaker, Ronald Caswell, who worked on the ISS and Shuttle. He spoke for about an hour and a half about the Colombia and Challenger disaster. Let me tell you, being a space nerd myself, I knew a lot of information about the two disasters but I learned a whole lot more! It was a pleasure hearing him speak about his work. I loved how passionate he was. It was like nothing was stopping him from doing what he loved. It was truly a great experience to hear him talk.

Life has been flying by really fast lately. Final projects and last semester as a freshman. I have even started looking for a place for next semester. Time has flown by since the Fall Semester started. I cannot believe it is almost over. With all the craziness of school, I have taken time to relax and have fun. I have hung out with some friends and had a Netflix day where I sat and watched Netflix all day. Yes, it was a nice break from all the school craziness and stress. With a little less than one month left, it is time for the big push. One more month and the craziness of fall is all over!

Hold on Riddle kids! We are almost at the end! Have a great Monday everyone!