On Tuesday evening, the night before NASA astronaut Bob Behnken was set to launch into orbit about a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, he launched his own rocket from Florida's Atlantic Coast.
I've personally launched this same rocket design, an Estes E2X Amazon, many times and can vouch for its fine engineering and reliability. While yesterday's historic launch—the first from US soil since 2011 with astronauts onboard and the first time a private company will take people offworld—was scrubbed due to weather, Behnken and Doug Hurley will be back in the capsule to try again on Saturday. I hope Behnken has a few more C engines for Friday night. From Space.com:
According to Estes, the Amazon model rocket stands about 30 inches (76 centimeters) tall and can reach heights of up to 650 feet (200 meters). For comparison, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket booster stands 229.6 feet (70 m) tall and can soar more than 150 miles (240 kilometers) above the Earth — more than 1,000 times higher than Behnken's toy rocket.
But Behnken didn't spend all of his last day on Earth playing in the sand. "The day before our launch on the @NASA/@SpaceX Demo Mission 2, I took the time to review pre-launch activities, hone my launch operation technique, practice one more docking with @Space_Station https://iss-sim.spacex.com, and review the path home,"
The day before our launch on the @NASA/@SpaceX Demo Mission 2, I took the time to review pre-launch activities, hone my launch operation technique, practice one more docking with @Space_Station https://t.co/1RBMI0g1Gp, and review the path home. We are ready! #LaunchAmerica pic.twitter.com/piYtLEtoiw
— Bob Behnken (@AstroBehnken) May 27, 2020