I fell in love with space at the age of five when I met the first female astronaut at a place called Moody Gardens in Galveston TX. I remember shaking her hand and thinking she was the most interesting and wonderful person ever and I found inspiration knowing that girls could love space too. Galveston doesn't look the same anymore ever since the hurricane and I havn't been there for years but, in my memories it was a very beautiful place.
After that moment I would also visit my grandfather in central Florida and watch the shuttle launches of Discovery, Endeavor, and Atlantis on several occasions. I remember walking to the beach or driving down the road and there's suddenly a vibration and booming noise with a great fire in the sky and it wasn't just the ordinary rocket launches, it was the greatest thing to see because shuttle launches were more powerful and left an impression. I would visit Kennedy Space Center often as a child before all of that playground setup was there that is made for kids today and my favorite thing to do was the IMAX theater to watch about space and eating the astronaut freeze dried ice cream.
Now as an adult I've seen the very last launches of all three shuttles in person along with my own child and showing her what a wonderful thing they were and represented. My grandfather never saw the last shuttle launches but, he also appreciated science and space. My favorite thing now is to watch the rocket launches and hope some day to see shuttle launches again. It was a dream come true for me to have my name launched into space through The Planetary Society on OSIRIS-REx and I took my daughter to see that launch in person since we live close to the area. It feels like space is literally a part of my life.
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