A Break from the Pandemic and the Chaos
Posted on Jun 02, 2020 by Shari Van Baale
For those of you who might have missed it, a historical event occurred on Saturday. Americans were launched into space again. It marked the first U.S.-based rocket launch with American astronauts since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Ever since, NASA has flown all of its astronauts and international partners to the space station on Russia’s Soyuz capsule. This is the first time they have used an American-built vehicle in almost a decade. It was also the first time SpaceX flew people to the space station; up until then, they only transported cargo and supplies.
Once Crew Dragon’s Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley left the earth, they orbited the planet for about 19 hours to catch up to the International Space Station (ISS). Docking with the ISS took place on Sunday morning. I have to admit, it was nice to be able to watch this live and view our church service at another time. That is one advantage to having church online right now; otherwise we would have missed the live docking while we were worshipping.
This is just what we need in a time of pandemics and racial tensions. In all of the rioting and chaos in the past week, it was nice to watch something positive.
This is also a difficult and uncertain time in the life of our church, and churches in general. We wonder when we will reopen, and how we will reopen. For Salem specifically, we wonder when we will relocate, how we will move, and where we will go.
Much like the space program of the 1960s, the Dragon mission offers a sense of hope and optimism in this uncertain time in our nation. There is a lot of division, but we can all come together (albeit virtually, like most things for the time being) to watch how this new chapter in space unfolds.
Data from their trip will be used to see what needs to be done to make these kinds of trips routine. The goal is to have regular flights to and from the ISS. The next flight, which is scheduled to occur in the fall, will have a crew of four to the ISS.
SpaceX is paving the way for return to the moon, missions to Mars, and even commercial flights. Someday we might be living on the moon, or at least vacationing there. For now, it provides a nice break of something positive to watch amid all of the turmoil and chaos of 2020.
Shari Van Baale