Suddenly a few thousand miles to Florida and back seems insignificant compared to the speed Endeavour got off the ground. The sooner parabolic passenger flights become a reality the better! I can’t wait to get to the USA in 2 hours!
As Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly and his crew of 6 astronauts lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center today a great range of emotions flooded over me. Part of me was happy and filled with pride to finally see Endeavour soar into the clouds above the Space Coast for one last time, embarking on one of the most important Space Shuttle flights since STS-125′s bold adventure to repair the Hubble Space Telescope one last time. In some small way I feel part of Endeavour’s final adventure, more so than merely watching over the internet or watching a list of Tweets flood by. I was *there*. Okay I didn’t see Endeavour launch but I was on the ground at Kennedy Space Center, I have pictures of Endeavour on the pad at 39A.
Part of me was grinning with joy for the people I enjoyed one of my most amazing life experiences with who made it back to see Endeavour lift off from the pad and roar into the sky. Every last one of them had been as excited as I was to see the launch, even seasoned veterans. I remembered with glee not only the multitude of wonderful glowing personalities, but also the amazing time I had in Florida and even kicked off a few well known memes on Twitter.
Then there was what was left. The bitter dregs. As small as I have tried to keep it, part of me is still sad that I wasn’t there to see Endeavour fly for the last time. Still sore that I won’t ever get to see a shuttle launch in person, feel the ground shake and the shockwaves in the air. It’s selfish to dwell on it, there are many worse things in the world, but now of all times I can’t help myself a little. I guess I’m only human, it’s only natural to get reflective sometimes, right?.
Still, I’m very lucky to be able to share all that’s happened with great people in great times. I leave you with Commander Mark Kelly’s words at T-9 minutes:
“On this final flight of space shuttle Endeavour we want to thank all the tens of thousands of dedicated employees that have put their hands on this incredible ship & dedicated their lives to the space shuttle program. As Americans we endeavour to build a better life than the generation before and we endeavour to be a united nation. In these efforts we are often tested. This mission represents the power of teamwork, commitment, and exploration. It is in the DNA of this great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop. To all of the millions watching today including our spouses children, family and friends we thank you for your support.”