Somewhere over Tennessee at around 3pm on Thursday, March 13, 2014, moving at 524mph, and at 35,000 feet… I let out a frustrated sigh.
No, I did not lose a round of Ticket to Ride on my laptop. And no, the in-flight internet surprisingly was working just fine.
The sigh came as I read the opening lines of an email from NASA:
“To ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance and allow additional time to resolve remaining open items, SpaceX is now targeting March 30th for the CRS-3 launch, with April 2nd as a back-up.”
There was going to be no going to space this weekend.
Regardless, at 35,000 feet you really don’t have much of a choice (at least legally) of where you are headed. So onward I flew towards my weekend in Florida, no matter what was going to happen.
It ended up being an amazing weekend!
In four short days, I made at least dozen new friends, shook a few astronauts hands, frolicked on a catwalk 150 feet up in the largest single-story building in the world, shed a few tears at a space shuttle, and helped knit a pair of socks an astronaut will be wearing next year in space.
Not too shabby for a trip that was blindsided before it even started.
NASA Socials have been some of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. They have allowed me to experience things I’ve only dreamed of, or in some cases, never thought possible.
This time was no different.
Now home from the adventure, I wandered over to the gas station to buy a lottery ticket today. Maybe if I cross all of my fingers, toes, and hairs I can win the lottery and afford to go back to Florida in a few weeks to watch the rocket launch.
What it would be like to stand on the causeway in the dark, watching and feeling the rocket go up just a few miles away. After seeing Space Shuttle Atlantis in person almost 3 years ago, there is nothing quite like that experience.
I was hoping to have the chance to do something similar again.
But in the end, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will end up doing what I do for most rocket launches… sit in my office chair with NASA TV on my computer screen, and a carton of ice cream in my hands.
However, this time I will have amazing memories in the back of my mind of the adventure that transpired in an attempt to see that launch.
And therefore, an even bigger smile on my face.