Thursday, July 14, 2011

A View of History. Together.

When the space shuttle Atlantis launched for the last time on July 8, many in the world watched this historic milestone in the space program. But of those viewing this event, it seems as if none has touched our collective hearts like Chris and Kenneth Bray, pictured above.

On April 12, 1981, when the space shuttle Columbia first launched from the Kennedy Space Center, 13-year-old Chris Bray was there to witness the momentous occasion, with his 39-year-old father, Kenneth. And then, last Friday, the Brays were there again, to take, as Chris put it, "The picture we waited 30 years to complete."

Chris Bray told The Washington Post, "We’ve always loved that first photo,” Bray said. “Taking a similar one for the last launch seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate the shuttle program and our relationship by putting the time passed in perspective, celebrating the interests we share, and illustrating the father/son bond we’ve maintained over the years."

What's amazing is that the Brays entered a lottery to purchase tickets to the launch and got passes to the Astronaut Hall of Fame viewing area. Despite a delayed flight from Newark and a lack of rental cars at the Orlando Airport, they made it to the launch site—in a 15-seater van—at 4 am.

How incredible must it have been to share two truly historical moments together, and document them for posterity? There are so many events I wish I had shared with someone special, and been able to capture them on film.

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