A Day In The Life
In the 1960s, there could be no more exciting place on this Earth than Florida’s Space Coast. Seventy five miles of the state’s east central coastline, including Merritt Island, Mosquito Lagoon, and Cape Canaveral, the spot
from where human beings first left Earth, and walked on the Moon.
A woman shrieks and calls out to her young grandson as they both witness their first fiery launch of a manned shuttle from Cape Canaveral, looking across the Indian River, toward Mosquito Lagoon. As Discovery’s main engines and two solid-fuel boosters light up the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) and (launch) Pad 39A, the same spot from which Apollo 11’s historic voyage began (July 16, 1969).
Forty years later (2007), another group was being launched from the same spot, this time bound for the International Space Station, conducting scientific and commercial (mostly communications) missions … missions that two decades after the Challenger disaster, are, by so many, taken for granted, but not by anyone who sees (and feels) a launch up close.
Watch with this family, from the bank of the Indian River, in front of their recently purchased, 1880s, traditional Florida cottage, on the River Road in North Cocoa.
For decades, my chosen spot to witness so many of the most exciting moments in America’s Impressive history.
From May 5, 1961, when my mother, carrying my brother and holding my sister’s hand, led us all into our backyard in Rockledge to watch Alan Shepard’s launch, making him the first American in space … and after, like everyone else, watching Walter Cronkite describe the splashdown, just 15 minutes later.