In the midst of the chaos that surrounds us, there is a glimmer of awe and hope. Last Saturday, SpaceX lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with two NASA astronauts on board. The destination of Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken was the International Space Station.
Mr. Hurley and Mr. Behnken were the first to be launched into space from American soil in almost a decade. This launch captured the imaginations of people young and old from coast to coast.
Though space flight is nothing new, this event marks the first time that a manned commercial rocket was launched. For more than four decades, NASA has been the brains behind human space flight programs like Mercury and Apollo. Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Jim Lovell, Judy Resnik and Sunita Williams are among the Ohioans who took part in the NASA space program’s golden years that made us all proud.
But as the years went by, space missions slowed. Now comes SpaceX, the vision of Elon Musk.
The anticipation of the flight and the final countdown drew Americans in. The blastoff united us all, at least for a few moments, as our eyes gazed at the sky.
This mission changed the way space flight and exploration will be done in the future. No longer just a governmental agency venture, but a public-private partnership.
The overall success of this mission will be determined when the SpaceX crew returns safely to Earth.
Until then, we can let our imaginations soar as we dream about the next exciting adventures into space.