Rockets and Red Cars

This season is shaping up to be the winter of rockets and red cars for us.  Living on the Space Coast of Florida, we’ve been fortunate to see several launches this winter, as SpaceX and United Launch Alliance have been very busy.  As you probably have seen by now, the biggest rocket contained a red Tesla roadster.  While that was beyond cool, it wasn’t the only red vehicle launch for us.  More on that in a bit…

On January 29th, our friends Phyllis and Bernie came up from Fort Pierce for a visit.

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Diana and Phyllis worked together back in West Michigan.  They checked out our park and then we went to Sebastian Beach Inn for a late lunch.  It was great to see them again!

On January 31, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with a communications satellite.

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The mission required a full thrust to a high orbit, so the booster wasn’t able to return to the Cape.  I was fortunate to get our Nikon focused enough to get this shot as the spacecraft flew by us.  This is zoomed all the way, plus cropped to make it even bigger.

A mere 7 days later, SpaceX launched their Falcon Heavy rocket for the very first time.  Luckily, this coincided with a visit by my sister Judy and her hubby Dale!

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It was a perfect day for a show!

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There were a lot of people watching up and down the beach.

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And it’s liftoff, as viewed from Melbourne Beach!  The Cape is just far enough away that it’s over the horizon.

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This is my best photo of it.  We were viewing it from the side, so it’s hard to see the side boosters.  There is a Tesla in that nose cone!  We did see the boosters separate, then fire side-by-side to begin their return to the Cape.  A minute or so later, they relit and landed in almost perfect unison.

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My cousin Mary was much closer up at Cocoa Beach and posted this photo on Facebook of the boosters coming in. Beyond cool!

After the launch, the four of us went to dinner at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

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What a fun day!

So what else have we been doing?  Well, between substitute teaching assignments, Diana and I decided to go for a drive in Edsel the Escape yesterday up to Jacksonville.

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Before Edsel knew what happened, his license plate was off and Diana was shaking hands with William the car salesman.  Meet Edsel 2 on the left, our new 2018 Ford Escape!  Now all we need to do is to make sure Elon Musk doesn’t launch it into space. 🙂

We’ve also been planning our summer trip, which we will talk about in a future post.  It’s also maintenance season for our rig and vehicles….uhhhh, well one vehicle.  We sort of took care of any maintenance that needed to be done on the Escape!

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The biggest job of all is waxing the fifth wheel.  It takes me a few weeks to complete the job, as I only tackle a section each morning.  That strategy to be much easier on my body than trying to knock it out in a couple of days.  And that leaves the afternoons free for the beach and the next rocket launch!

31 thoughts on “Rockets and Red Cars”

  1. You probably mentioned in an earlier post that I didn’t catch, but where were you from in West Michigan? (I live in Spring Lake, but I am originally from Muskegon. …Planning to begin workaming in 2022)

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  2. Great pictures of the launch…when you are traveling do you each drive? We sometimes think about taking a second car..we keep one in storage…it seems like it would be easier than driving the big dually around everyday…
    Looking forward to see where you will be this summer…maybe out west…if so maybe we could meet up!!!

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    1. We do both drive, Sue. We discussed it with Howard and Linda before heading out, and we are glad we decided to go that route. When traveling, we put on less than 200 miles a day, and we prefer to stay put a few days between travel days. Having the smaller vehicle is much nicer to drive around town. Like Howard had found, the costs are really break even when all is said and done. The longer I can make that diesel Super Duty last, the better!

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    1. That was a double landing, Debbie! Those boosters were strapped to a center booster when it went up.

      I noticed that I wasn’t as sore this year while waxing the rig. Turns out I did it last year immediately after working at Amazon. That was just piling pain on pain! 😊

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  3. Hey! Congrats on the new car! I’ve been trying to use the same strategy to get a new microwave – it’s so dirty let’s just get a new one. 🙂 So far Steven is not buying it. I hope Spaceman’s Tesla doesn’t catch fire, that’s hell on my Tesla stocks! 🙂

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    1. I just saw yesterday that they are building a second drone ship, as there are times the Falcon Heavy will use too much fuel on the launch to return the boosters to the Cape, Debbie. I hear you on the waxing….but I’m a tad too picky to have someone else do it. 😉

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    1. You and Karen should plan on spending a winter on the Space Coast, Mark. With the inevitable launch delays, it’s nice to be closer to the action.

      The car has so many new features on it, I sort of feel like Starman (aka, a dummy) when I drive it. Actually, it sort of drives itself, as it has adaptive cruise control and lane assist. 😉

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      1. We will have to get you guys to show us the ropes if we come to Florida! Texas is not out yet as a domicile but Florida is looking good for the healthcare and more. Driving distance from south of Jacksonville to Kansas City is really not that much further than KC to Mission Texas for those trips back “home” after winter.

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  4. Congrats on the new car! That’s why we drive separate – to save the miles on the truck! Bill is super jealous about the launches – we will have to plan to be in that area at some point to watch! I don’t mind the washing the rig – but the waxing is a killer, although Bill doesn’t like my “technique” so I got to go inside. Paying someone is so expensive though, and just is annoying when they don’t do a good job.

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    1. Yes, the amount of time we actually drive separate is so small, it’s not a big deal…especially with two-way radios. We are all on the same page on that one, for sure. If you guys are actively thinking of scheduling a stay around a launch, follow SpaceX and Kennedy Space Center on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow NASA, but they don’t always announce the private launches. If the boosters are scheduled to return to the Cape, I’d really say that Cocoa Beach is the prime location to view it from (an easy drive from Melbourne).

      Also totally agree on the cost and the half-hearted job on having the waxing hired out. Our rig is old enough that we need to use oxidation remover. If it’s not done right, it looks blotchy. It can’t be done in direct sunlight, so timing is everything.

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  5. Your old Escape wasn’t all that old. Are you leasing?

    The thing about the Space-X launch to me wasn’t so much about the launch as the recovery of the boosters…. kewl beans that!

    Yeah…. oxidation removers…. good things those. Sure do help keep the homestead looking spiffy.

    Eager to hear your summer plans!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve never leased. Edsel 1 had served us well, and we wanted a pretty new ride for Valentines Day!

      Oh, most definitely….the booster return was the best part (other than the photos of Starman drifting away from Earth). A collective gasp went up on the beach when they fired their short burst straight off the coast in front of us. Perfect unison! We also could see them relight near the Cape….similar to what the liftoff photo looked like, only two flames.

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    1. We were worried that we were too far south, but we actually were able to see the point when they separated from the center booster, plus the landings in the distance. The only thing we didn’t hear was the series of sonic booms when they landed. Maybe you guys can catch a launch next year!

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  6. That is awesome that you got to see those launches! I grew up in the Orlando area and got to see several of the space shuttle launches in the 80’s and 90’s and each one was special. I was disappointed when they got rid of the space shuttle program but at least you can still see rockets take off!

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    1. How cool you were able to see shuttle launches! We saw Columbia launch once. We were in front of a tall condo building in Titusville and the noise was unbelievable. It actually felt like someone was beating on our chests, and then it echoed off the building to boot. 🙂

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  7. You got some great shots of the launches – and how exciting to see them from the beach! You both look so happy with your get togethers 🙂 Edsel 2 looks like a sweet ride. Will definitely make Diana’s travel days very comfortable. Can’t wait to see what you’re planning for the summer. We’re hoping to get a few weeks in Michigan at the end of the season.

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    1. I’m going to try…even though the F-stops on my camera don’t go low enough…for a streak shot on the next night launch. Might have to get a different camera! Edsel 2 has more features than the Starship Enterprise, Jodee. Diana thinks we should be feeding it more than just gas! Michigan late in he season? Hmmmmm…. 😉

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