Every kid, at some point or another, wants to be an astronaut. Sometimes it’s when you’re watching a shuttle launch, maybe a landing or maybe you goto the science museum and look up at a mock-up of a rocket ship; for me it was Star Wars. I saw Star Wars and I knew, I knew that space ships didn’t exist and even though Han shot first there was no doubt in my mind that his laser pistol didn’t exist… yet. Even if I could couldn’t shoot wamp-rats from a T-16, I wanted to at least go up there and pretend.
I’m not an astronaut, personally I believe the act of strapping oneself to,
what amounts to a directional bomb, a rocket being… a “special” job. Still if I can’t be on board, I’d want to travel to Cape Canaveral to watch a launch. And the last launch of the Endeavor occurred without me to see it. I’m sure everything went well, and my presence wasn’t important to the launch but after I turned 13 and realized I’d never have enough money to buy a ticket on a shuttle or live long enough to see the construction of the Death Star, I’ve wanted to be there in Cape Canaveral for a shuttle launch.
With NASA shutting down their program for launching to the International Space Station (aka. Death Star beta version 1.0), who knows when the next launches will start up again?
One thing is for certain though, those who were lucky enough to see it can count themselves among the luckiest… at least for a few years.