Back to the Future — On that day, September 29, 1988, the launch of the space shuttle Discovery was to be America’s heroic return to space … NASA’s first manned mission since the loss of Challenger, two years before.
“Just Say Go” — All around the Space Coast, patriotic signs and green ribbons expressed a renewed confidence in NASA, and its ability to resurrect America’s wounded Space Program. Nowhere was the hope higher and more on display than in the small village that connects Cocoa and Rockledge, two of Florida’s most historic and picturesque towns.
Usually quiet, on the Indian River (Intracoastal Waterway) across from Merritt Island, Mosquito Lagoon, and the legendary Cape Canaveral. The World’s most Sacred (scientific) Ground, the spot from which manking has dreamed of, and realized, the universal and timeless quest to leave the Earth, fly through space, and walk on the mysterious Moon.
Turning onto Coquina Road, from off US 1 in Rockledge, Florida, and driving five miles north on the “scenic,” palm and oak-lined River Road, one arrives to the only spot on Earth, from where men have embarked on Voyages to The Moon. In the shade of the old Hub’s Inn, today a rusty, frail shell of its once roaring 20s, speakeasy self. Whether it the most popular swampy blues joint on the Indian River, or the now abandoned metal building, whose 75-year-old stilts are barely holding on.
Looking across the Indian River, toward Merritt Island, Mosquito Lagoon, and Cape Canaveral, the monstrous VAB (Vertical/Vehicle Assembly Building), with its NASA logo and American flag visible from ten miles away, stands large on the long horizon line of mangrove and palmetto scrub, native vegetaton, important in protecting the dunes all along the large, sandy cape that defines Florida’s (500-Mile) East Coast.
The point on Earth from where mankind embarked on its most adventurous journey.
SIGNING OFF— After every launch from The Cape, a unique “after cloud” lingers in the sky. Something of a signature, left behind by the rockets as they disappeared from view. The name stands distinctly, until it dissipates slowly in the usually gentle tropical breeze. This infinity-shaped cloud was written by Discovery (STS-133), left behind it’s final launch, February 24, 2011, on its way to re-supply the International Space Station. Within a year, the two shuttles to follow were launched successfully, and NASA’s 40-year Space Shuttle Program was over.
— U2 / NASA
Message from above — Then the mission commander of STS-134, what might have been the last of NASA’s 40-year space shuttle program, Mark Kelley took Bono up on his invitation to speak to U2 audiences from the International Space Station.
It was thought that STS-134 could have been the last, with most Republicans in Congress opposing the funding required to launch STS-135, but as soon as February, NASA announced definitely that STS-135 would fly, “regardless” of Congress’ denial of funding.
THE LAST SHUTTLE
July 8, 2011 — Taking advantage of the time and preparations necessary for STS-335, the “On Need” launch, the mission that would have been necessary if the STS-134 crew became stranded in orbit. That made Atlantis (STS-135) the last. Two weeks after launch, upon its return and landing at the Kennedy Space Center, the 135th mission, and the entirety of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program, was over.
Futures To Come Who Owns The Private Property? “Privatization” and the commercialization of Space.
September 15, 2021 — Elon Musk’s (SpaceX) first all-private mission (Inspiration 4) as seen from the Moonlight Drive-In, on US1, just north of SR50 (Florida’s Road Through Time & Space), in Titusville, Florida.
What a Difference a Decade Makes
1960 — NASA MOVES TO CAPE CANAVERAL
1970 — LET THE VOYAGE BEGIN
1980 — SPACE SHUTTLE
1990 — SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY
2000 — THE POISON APPLE
2010 — CHANGE OF MILLENNIUM SPREES OF SATELLITES
Galactic Waste Management Property Management Privatization Of Space Private Property?
INGENUITY— Helicopter On Mars DRONES/PHOTOGRAPHY/SURVEILLANCE/DELIVERY
2020 — DIGITAL DOOM
INSPIRATION— Elon Musk’s Entry After Richard Branson (in his space dart) and Jeff Besos (in his flying vibrator), Elon Musk entered SpaceX into the Billionaire Space Race. Mogul vs. Mogul, replacing the longtime, America vs. Russia, competition.
Billionaires In Space E-Ticket Ride b/ Mike Watt ((play))
ELON MUSK (Scientist) SpaceX RICHARD BRANSON (Explorer) Virgin Atlantic JEFF BESOS (Engineer) Amazon / Blue Origin DONALD TRUMP (Toddler) Space Force?
A Day In The Life— Ten minutes on Florida’s Space Coast, including watching, with a young family, seeing its first manned launch (the space shuttle Discovery), its fiery launch and rapid ascent, streaking across the mostly clear blue, Florida sky, away from the Cape, on its way to the International Space Station, orbiting 300 miles above, outside the atmosphere of Earth.
A reminder of my mother (who is present this day), fifty years earlier, taking me, my sister, and my brother into our front yard in Cocoa, to watch Alan Shepard become the first American to see outer space.
On this launch day (2005), you’ll hear Grandma Rose shriek excitedly, before loudly calling out to her young grandson,
“Look at the ball of fire, Josh.
Look at the ball of fire.”
The Moon Hut, a small outside beach concession stand appears in 60s Sci-Fi movie50 years later a Mexican restaurant in the same A1A, Cape Canaveral spot originally. The Moon Hut was the private dining room the restaurant rented out for parties. NASA paraphernalia and photographs, cover the walls, under the watchful eye of a 12-point buck mounted above the door.
The third to last Shuttle, after being postponed for days, was dramatic, and left a most beautiful after cloud, a most appropriate “tag” for the entire Shuttle program.
GODS & MONSTERS “Your Future” b/ Bernard Fowler
— “The Road Through Space & Time” b/ Skot Olsen
Painting Florida — The Highwaymen were a group of African American painters, who, from their home, Fort Pierce, painted the Florida landscape and drove up and down the state (mostly on US1), selling their paintings out of the trunks of their cars.
FOSSIL FUEL GOD / GAS / GUNS Weeki Wachee TWO SPRINGS Interior Florida Swimming Holes
“From the Beginning” FOSSIL FUEL Houses Replace citrus, after a freeze. St John’s Crossing. Crossing I95, Old School east to Titusville/ US1 & HWY50) VAB HWY50 — WEEKI WACHEE/VAB SPRING HILL, Sinclair Dinosaur, inland Florida swimming hole, as compared to the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables.
Turpentine, Pines, Plywood and stinky pulp
SR50 “Florida’s Road Through Time And Space” Enjoy The Ride. ((play))
A vintage Sinclair (Dino) gas station, stands appropriately on the west end of SR50, Florida’s road through time, runs 100 miles, straight east from Weeki Wachee (just north of Tampa) to the crossroads (SR50/I-4) in Orlando, continuing across the St. Johns River and the wetlands, entering the small, North Brevard County city, and ending on the Banana River (Intracoastal Waterway,) looking across to see the VAB (Vertical/Vehicle Assembly Building) and (Launch) Complex 39, the last stepping stone to The Moon.
Patrick Air Force Base, Picnic Tables, 2nd Light, Touch and Gos, Pineda Causeway shortcut, U2 takeoff, F-16s across the Turnpike, Hawk chasing Eagle, Followed (Targeted) by A-10s. After Pink Floyd, torrential rain at the Tangerine Bowl.
SR50 THE SPACE COAST Cape Canaveral Canaveral National Seashore/ Cocoa Beach/ Merritt Island/ Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge/MOSQUITO LAGOON Dolphin Heron Egret Osprey Pelican Alligator Indian River/CITRUS Tropical Trail/FRUIT/FLOWERS Mather’s Bridge Dragon Point Indialantic 5th Avenue Surf Melbourne Beach Poor Richards Ponce de Leon Old Wooden Beach Lodge/FOR SALE New (House) Construction Whitey’s Bait Sebastian Inlet/SURF Spanish House Inlet Monster Hole Shark Pit Orchid Island Jensen Beach/Paul Milette CSWY — WABASSO BAIT Valkaria/AIRSTRIP/AUTOCROSS GRANT/SEAFOOD Shrimp Clams ??? (Barrier) Island Dwelers Art Lathum, Palm Beach Post War Correspondent (Real) Daiquiris Thunderstorm Rowing Air Force helicopter (w/Andrea Murray) OSPREY ROW “HUNGERY” Downtown Melbourne/DOVE RESTAURANT US192 WEST — I-95 / St. Johnss River / Camp Holly Airboats / Rural Religion / St Cloud Interlude / Pawn / Cheap Tickets / Kississimmee / Silver Spurs / ORANGE WORLD MACHINE GUN AMERICA EAST — CSWY/ SPECTRUM SURF SHOP / 5TH AVE BOARDWALK / SHAGG’s SURF SHOP A1A North — Indian Harbor / Satellite Beach / Lum’s / RC’s PINEDA CSWY CSWY WEST — Banana River / Merritt Island / Indian River / US1 US1 NORTH-TO ROCKLEDGE Riverside Bar w/Dan & Marsha Gibson We Don’t usually have that kind in here Mixed couple. Out back on dock, bartender thought we were Insulted. ALAMO MEXICAN KITCHEN RIVER ROAD ENTRANCE Leonard’s Stand (Palms) North to COQUINA. PINEDA CSWY/A1A NORTH — PAFB / Officers’ Club / 2ND Light / Picnic Tables Cocoa Beach / TACO CITY NATURAL ART SURF SHOP 7TH STREET Al Neuharth’s Log Cabin (Pumpkin Center) Bill Johnson/USA TODAY EXPULSION Patrick Air Force Base
Naked Launch Florida’s Finest Art on the World’s most Sacred Ground Titusville, Fla. (1997)
SR 50 is signed east–west. Within various counties throughout the state, the highway is signed with various names such as Cortez Boulevard in Hernando County and Colonial Drive in Orange County. The former section includes the concurrency with US 98 between Brooksville and near Ridge Manor. US 98-SR 50 is the only interchange with Interstate 75 in Hernando County.
Several portions of SR 50 east of SR 436 follow the original Cheney Highway, which was named for John Moses Cheney and was the first road to the coast from Orlando. Full travel from Orlando to Titusville on the Old Cheney Highway, however, is not possible due to the demolition of a bridge over the Econlockhatchee River. At the end of SR50, NASA‘s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is visible.
State Road 408, also known as the East-West Expressway or Toll Road 408, from its western starting point near Ocoee to its eastern terminus near the University of Central Florida near Bithlo, runs almost directly parallel to SR50, with most exits on the 408 being within a mile to two miles away from SR50. The East-West Expressway was originally designed to, and still does, relieve traffic congestion on SR 50 during rush hour.
A western extension of SR 40 continues from US 41 in Dunnellon as SR 40 to the Gulf of Mexico through Marion and Levy Counties north of the Withlacoochee River. County Road 40 is named Follow That Dream Parkway west of US 19/98 after the 1962 Elvis Presley movie that was filmed in Inglis, Yankeetown and the surrounding area. East of US 19-98, the road is known as Port Avenue in Levy County, and Cedar Street, then Pennsylvania Avenue in Dunnellon. Between Dunnellon and Rainbow Lakes Estates, SR 40 serves as a not-so-hidden route along US 41.
Rainbow Springs “Curse Of The Witches Well” Cottage on the Rainbow River Dunellon
— Interior Florida. Clear, Cool, spring-fed river. A retreat from the family estate in Belleair. On the west coast, north of Tampa, where Henry Plant terminated his Railroad, near Clearwater, north of St. Petersburg. THE BELLEVIEW-BILTMORE HOTEL Henry Plant was Henry Flagler’s rival, fellow Railroad baron, and Florida Pioneer, who turned his tracks west, toward Tampa, while Flagler decided to continue south, down Florida’s East Coast, with a dreamer’s eye on Key West (FLAGLER’S MOON), the industrial age, land developer’s fantastic quest.
De Leon Springs
Blue Spring (Actually Green) St. Johns River Orange, Florida
(HWY40)Go West — Ormond Beach, Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs, Crystal River, Yankeetown, Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve, Deland (HWY44) Cassadaga — GEO MAGAZINE (German) PICTURES Daytona Beach (The World’s Most Famous) Daytona 500 NASCAR (Beach-A1A/Super Speedway Port Orange New Smyrna Beach (HWY44) Atlantic Ocean Cassadaga Deland Orange, Florida BLUE SPRING ST. JOHNS RIVER (SR50) — THE ROAD THROUGH SPACE & TIME
What a Difference a Decade Makes
International Space Station Galactic Waste Management Richard Branson Virgin Atlantic Elon Musk SpaceX Private Property? Space Force?
Change Is Gonna Come
“Change Is Gonna Come”
The Inaugural Falcon — A look into the Future of space travel, and a reminder (warning) of how Donald Trump not only didn’t make America any greater, he nearly destroyed our effort to boldly go where no man has gone before. “I’ll break your fucking camera, if you take a picture of me.”
Unlike an invitation to a tall glass of sweet tea and watching a countdown on the host family’s primitive black and white television set with its aluminum foil-wrapped rabbit ear antenna.
2018 February 6 Elon Musk (Space X) launches its Falcon Heavy rocket, almost as big as the Apollo program’s Saturn V, large enough, Musk hopes, to take the first humans to Mars.
Far from the fondest of memories, watching all the “manned launches,” starting with Alan Shepard’s most exhilarating, 15-minute, up and down ride anyone had ever seen. From our front yard on the Cocoa mainland, my mother, my sister, my brother, and I watched the yellow flame rise into the clear blue Florida sky, and after it disappeared, we went inside to begin what would be a life-long, Space Coast ritual. Closing the screen door behind you, and sitting down in the living room, listening to one of the network newsmen, writing (telling) America’s history as they saw it. We, like most, listened to Walter Cronkite, the voice of CBS news, the Truth in America. Walter Cronkite — an honest man who told us what he saw.
Same Space, Different Time — For the dozen Apollo Astronauts who walked on the Moon, the last spot on earth they touched before their galactic stroll, was Cape Canaveral, Florida.
On this day, nearly 40 years later, the Space Shuttle Discovery sat quietly on the same spot, it’s crew waiting anxiously to ride the fountain of fire, away from The Cape, and toward their outer space destination, the International Space Station, orbiting 300 miles overhead.
The deteriorating, corrugated-metal building is Hub’s Inn, a Space Coast seafood restaurant and lounge, popular in the 1920s. Indian River lore having it that Hub’s was a favorite of Al Capone, to where he and his Miami mob associates sailed their motor yachts, up the Intracoastal Waterway, and bought exclusive time at Hub’s Inn, enough time to satisfy their near-insatiable desire for Wine, Women, and Song.
Astronaut Mark Kelly Has David Bowie Moment in U2 Concert
Astronaut Mark Kelly spells out a message (“It’s a beautiful day”) while floating on the International Space Station during a video appearance at a U2 concert in Seattle June 5, 2011.
A U2 concert in Seattle this week officially sailed “out-of-this-world” when NASA astronaut Mark Kelly made an appearance from space in a pre-recorded message.
On Sunday (June 5) at Quest Field in Seattle, U2 lead singer Bono dedicated the song “Beautiful Day” to Kelly’s wife Gabrielle Giffords, a Congresswoman from Arizona who was wounded during a January shooting.
The song holds special significance to Giffords, as she chose it to play as the wakeup song one morning during Kelly’s recent trip on the space shuttle Endeavour’s final mission.
“Imagine a man looking down on us from 200 miles up,” Bono said during the concert, part of U2’s U2360° world tour. “Looking down at our beautiful crowded planet… What would he say to us? What is on your mind Commander Kelly?”