Last night my kids and I watched a rocket launch in Virginia from our home just north of Philadelphia.
NASA sent a rocket up to the International Space Station with a couple tons of supplies. Thanks to social media and clear skies we were able to watch the rocket launch and see it head into space.
NASA streamed the rocket launch across Twitter and Facebook. We watched on my iPhone as they counted down to liftoff and we watched the rocket take off live from a computer in my hand.
Think about that for a minute. Think about the technology that filled entire buildings when we first started launching things into space. We now have mobile devices just as powerful as those supercomputers. We can now watch a rocket launch from our driveway and then turn our attention to the skies as it flies overhead.
And we did turn our attention to the skies.
According to a map NASA shared, we would be able to see the rocket about 90 seconds after liftoff.
And right on time, in the sky above our house, we saw the tiny white dot traveling at 10,000 miles per hour. We saw it for a short time as it raced across the sky and then disappeared into space.
My 9 year old said it wasn’t what he expected. He wanted to see a rocket in all its glory and all he got was a dot across the sky. But my 13 year old was pretty impressed. And the three of us had a good time tracking NASA for twenty minutes or so.
Maybe next time we get closer to the rocket before it launches.