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On May 30th 2020, after nearly a decade of work and collaboration, Space-X and NASA launch their first two astronauts into space. At 3:22 p.m. EDT, the rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center In Florida carrying two of America’s finest, Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley. Internal and external high definition cameras recorded all the action taking place including the Falcon-9 rocket propelling them into orbit. Built with reusable technology and the capability of self-navigating back to Earth, the Falcon-9 broke off from the Dragon capsule above Earth’s atmosphere and traveled back through Earth landing itself in an upright position on a platform floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The technology presented during this launch was unlike anything the world has ever seen.
Watch Falcon-9,s incredible return to earth.
After the break off, Astronauts Behnken and Hurley continued heading towards the International Space Station. During their course, both got a chance to spend a few minutes sharing their excitement on live TV. During the broadcast they followed a NASA tradition of renaming the capsule to their own liking. The name selected by the astronauts was “The Falcon-Endeavor“, a tribute to the Space Shuttle Endeavor which they both sailed on during the last generation of America’s space program. (The space shuttle was retired in style through the streets of Los Angeles in October 2012). As luck would unfortunately have it, this “Giant Leap for Mankind” was overshadowed by tragic events in America. Nationwide protests and riots dominated the headlines following the murder by police of an unarmed black man named George Floyd followed by the continued global effort towards defeating the spread of the COVID19 virus. The coverage of this great achievement was minimal yet it is one of the most significant achievements of the 20th century.
Nonetheless, this achievement showed that Americans are still a nation with momentum and vision. In our darkest moments we are capable of continuing to look forward because behind us are others equally dedicated to nurturing our sick, stand together for a cause, and those who fight for our freedoms. We are a diverse nation despite the narrow lens of cameras and social media.
The hope is that this tremendous achievement parallels in history both the pivoting national events causing unrest and divisions, as well as the global health crisis keeping us from coming together to cry or to celebrate.