Saturday, May 30th

12:30 p.m. Silence. The only thing marking the existence of sound is the Amazon delivery truck in the parking lot outside my apartment. Even my puppy Bolt, who is very active, is fast asleep in his kennel.

1:00 p.m. Silence again. Well, not complete silence. My mom, dad, and I came out of our rooms for ten minutes to have some rice and lentils for lunch. I guess we talked a bit. Right after lunch, we headed back to our rooms.

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1:15 p.m. In a desperate attempt to squeeze family time into our day, my mom flipped the TV channel to a live stream of the rocket launch. Eager to see something exciting happen after many long, boring days, I rushed to the living room to see two astronauts on the 55-inch display. In just a few minutes, American space research would reach a huge milestone.

1:20 p.m. Just two minutes left. All three of us sat there, eagerly waiting for the launch. I looked at my mom and my dad, they were talking about the engineering of the rocket. For the first time this week, I joined the conversation. 

1:21 p.m. We were all talking and hoping that the mission would be successful. It felt great to reunite as a family again. NASA and SpaceX’s mission has brought our family time back to life and I am going to do my best to keep it this way.

The countdown began. 10, 9, 8… the tension in the room increased as the numbers on the screen decreased…7, 6, 5, 4….. this was it, in a few seconds, our family interaction would die out….3, 2, 1…

The Falcon shot off the ground with a rumbling roar. And as I cheered with my family, I promised myself that I would never let anything loosen our family bond. 

Ash Venkatesh is a 9th grade student who lives in Highlands Ranch.