Getting excited about space again.
Each week for a year, I’m designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the design for week 34.
I grew up fascinated with space. I had books on the space shuttle. I wanted to go to Space Camp.* I watched movies and documentaries about the Apollo program. I remember the loss of Challenger. And the loss of Columbia. As the shuttle program came to an end, I followed along with the International Space Station and all the probes and rovers that we’ve sent out to the solar system. I listen to a podcast about space regularly. But with our future of space exploration in doubt, I admit that my excitement has waned a bit over the years.
This week, Space X reignited that excitement.
Falcon Heavy — the largest rocket launched since the Saturn 5 took astronauts to the moon — completed a successful test launch.
The launch was spectacular, but for me the highlight was the landing of two boosters in unison. Online, I saw too many people focused on the Tesla Roadster now floating towards the Kiper belt, or the loss of the third booster. But the Falcon Heavy represents the next step to returning to the moon, and maybe someday heading to Mars. Falcon Heavy is a big deal, and the test was a massive success.
I started the day as the only one I knew excited about the launch. I gathered my coworkers around the screen as I watched the launch live — with commentary from Jason and Stephen from the Liftoff Podcast. Some of them weren’t sure what it was a big deal. Others had no idea there was a launch happening. But it was wonderful to share the experience with my friends.
Later, after dinner, I shared the video with my wife and kids when I got home and talked about the launch and space exploration in general. Space X and Falcon Heavy have given people a reason to be excited about space again. I hope they continue to push forward.
* And yes, this probably had something to do with the movie, Space Camp.
Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on Twitter, Instagram and Micro.Blog.