Monday night the news in our area was buzzing about a rocket being launched from Virginia Beach. According to all the reports, the conditions were prime for viewing from our house. Since seeing a rocket soaring through the sky is not commonplace in Northern Virginia and because we have a little space enthusiast in our house, Scott and I rearranged our evening routine to make sure we were in a prime viewing location.
Living in the woods is wonderful, but it is certainly not conducive for star gazing. Knowing the trees would block the view, we packed up the family and telescope and set out for the park. Robby was delighted setting up his telescope in what he declared to be the perfect location. We happily invited other families to join in the viewing fun; Robby's enthusiasm for the launch was certainly contagious.
At precisely 6:45, the time of the scheduled launch, we all began eagerly scanning the horizon. At 6:48 Robby spotted something quickly zooming upward and began to squeal. We all took a turn looking through his telescope at the rocket streaming towards the stars. Robby was overcome with excitement and randomly screamed, "God bless America." To my surprise, our fellow rocket gazers followed his cue by declaring the same sentiment.
By 7:00 we had packed up and returned home, confident in the knowledge that we had seen a rocket launch. Robby was chattering about the launch, recounting every detail when I settled in and called my Mom so that he could regale her with his experience.
It turns out that the launch was delayed. We stood in a field with a group of strangers and excitedly cheered for a passenger airplane. Robby was disappointed but eager for the rocket launch do-over scheduled for Tuesday night.
Last night we again headed to the park, determined to see the rocket launch. We waited and waited, searching the horizon for any sign of flight. After 10 minutes I received a phone call from Mr. Bill, telling me to come on home. The rocket had blown up at launch.
Robby was devastated watching the replays of the explosion. He calmed a little bit after he learned that nobody died, but then he worried about the people on the space station waiting for supplies. While we are all disappointed that we didn't have the opportunity to witness the launch, we are thankful that nobody was hurt.
It turns out that the launch we never saw is one which we will never forget.