I Took a Break from Blogging Because of a Spaceship

"There's your new spacecraft, America!" NASA's Orion launches at dawn -- the dawn of a new era of space exploration -- from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish | www.followingbliss.com

“There’s your new spacecraft, America!” NASA’s Orion launches at dawn from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish | http://www.followingbliss.com

Someone asked me the other day why I don’t blog anymore. It’s true — over the last six months or so, I’ve pretty well abandoned this site. But it was for what I think to be a pretty good reason.

On December 5, 2014, NASA’s Orion spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I got to be a part of it — a very small part of it when you consider the magnitude of a launch into space — but none the less. I work on the communications team that tells the story of Orion, and other exploration systems that will bring humans farther into space than they’ve ever traveled, to the general public. I’ve been all-in since joining the team two years ago, and most intensely, during the final six months leading up to that December morning. What an incredible experience. It was an indescribable, intense and overwhelmingly incredible experience. And what a triumphant launch it was(Yes, I’m totally bias, and yes, it was TRIUMPHANT.)

It’s difficult to put into words what it is like to work on a project for that long with such a distinct end point — talking about it with others involved every single day, imagining what launch day will feel like, wondering how it will all play out — emotions run very high and you become very attached. I equate it to how a novelist might feel upon finishing a grand work. One of my former bosses who has decades of experience in human spaceflight told me a few days prior: “After the launch, you will be depressed. Expect that.” He was correct, after the launch and during the following weeks I felt a bit depressed. Then came the holidays, then the new year, and then, that feeling of depression began to fall away leaving behind only what will go down as one of the great experiences in my life. And now I can write and post again.

And did I mention that when Orion launched on the second day (after a first-day of five aborts and ultimately a scrub), it was absolutely triumphant?! Click here to check out my favorite highlights reel from the Orion flight test.

Most of the photos I took that week are for official use, but some, I kept for myself. When I could hold my hand steadily, this is what I was able to capture:


So, now, back to business posting about my other love — awesome places and cool experiences around the world. And I have a really big year of travel ahead of me, so please stay tuned!

P.S. Thanks for the nudge to start posting again, E.T.I. 🙂

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Categories: Adventure + Exploration, Space, Stories, Where to Travel

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