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We Are GO For Launch

We arrived at the KARS RV Park on Monday, April 17 with the hope we might get a site on the water a mere eight miles from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This park is for NASA employees, their families and retired military personnel and their families. It has great views of the launch pads with 20 sites right on the water for $30/night.

When we arrived I told security I was an active member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and showed my ID. He called the park office, the park manager called her boss, the NASA KARS administrator, and he gave us the green light to stay on the property. What an incredible blessing to stay at this venue! I chose site 13 in honor of Apollo 13 and the view out our RV's window looks east towards the launch complexes and the Atlantic Ocean.

This morning, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the Banana River hoping that the schedule launch of the Falcon Heavy • ViaSat 3 would go as originally scheduled for later in the early evening. Unfortunately, the launch was again delayed, now to April 24 after we leave. That was the bad news, but it was followed by good news; the announcement of the scheduled launch of a Falcon 9 • Starlink 6-2 for tomorrow, April 19, launch time at 8:27 a.m. EDT.

The launch site is even closer at SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. This SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch another batch of second-generation Starlink V2 Mini internet satellites. The Falcon 9’s first stage booster will land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

This is the realization of a boyhood dream come true for me, to see an actual rocket launch up close and personal. As a kid in the 60's, I would get up before the TV stations went "on air" to watch the first NASA Mercury/Redstone sub-orbital flight of Alan Shepard. I followed every NASA mission and crew through Mercury, Gemini and ultimately the Apollo program that landed men of the moon. In high school I was the president of our Model Rocketry Club, building, testing and launching model rockets. I dreamed of someday becoming an astronaut and even worked in an occupational training program my junior year of high school at NASA Ames Research Center as an electrical draftsman. Over my entire adult life I have been fascinated with space travel and the programs humans have created to explore the cosmos.

Tomorrow morning, I won't be sitting on the carpet in my childhood living room in front of a black and white TV. Tomorrow morning, at 8:00 am, I'll be standing with my wife out on the dock over the Banana River watching the real deal, experiencing the sights, sounds, smells and emotion on a very personal level.. Can't wait!


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