Astronaut Robert Behnken flying model rockets on the Florida coast.  

Relaxing Before the Big Launch

As America sits on the threshold of history, one American hero spent his last day on earth before flying to space by doing what many consider to be one of the greatest daily outlets; flying model rockets. Demo-2 Astronaut Bob Behnken was spending his last few days before blasting off to the ISS quarantined on a small beach house on the shores of Cape Canaveral, Florida. For as long as Americans have flown to space, staying at the astronaut beach house has been a time honored tradition in the days leading up to launch. For Astronaut Behnken, he decided to “hone in his launching techniques” by building and flying a model rocket in preparation for his flight to Space on Demo-2 the next day.

For Bob, this activity was probably seen as a fun activity to pass the time and shake off some prelaunch nerves. However, for the model rocket community, it was viewed as a national victory. For some,model rocketry is considered a “sleeper hobby.” For those of us bitten by the rocket bug, we understand that model rocketry extends far beyond a hobby. Despite our many differences, ways of life, or even personal beliefs, model rocketry serves as a common ground for both the young and the young at heart. Entire communities have been formed by the infatuation of building something from scratch and watching it take to the skies, as if by magic. While watching Astronaut Behnken partake in this wonderful hobby, it serves as a bit of affirmation of how far this hobby reaches; all the way up to an American hero. If Bob’s picture taught us anything, it’s that our hobby reaches up to the stars, and that by participating in the hobby, we truly are sharing a common bond with  American spaceflight heroes, and partaking in something truly bigger than ourselves. Keep building, keep flying, and never stop reaching for the stars. 

Cullen Desforges- @CullenDesforges on Twitter