Here we are just another normal day at our home, Hoof was out in the field putting in a lot of fitness training for the up and coming point to point races that he competes in around the county, Horace was in the drive cleaning his motorbike (that’s another story !)
Hoof’s phone rang it was the call the pair had been waiting for since the 19 January 2019 when the first launch of the Falcon 9 Rocket and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon mission had to be postponed after the cleaning lady accidentally fell over and unintentionally initiated the launch sequence which H & H had to fly to Florida and sort out.
Just to recap H & H have been the brains behind this whole project which is to sub contract out Space travel to private companies like SpaceX.
Their brief was to design a capsule that could dock with the International Space Station (ISS). This flight is just a demonstration flight so no crew members will be on board the capsule, however there was a dummy on board (Which I could not possibly comment on). A suggestion has been made by fellow Flickerite Brian Spicer, that H & H should dock with the ISS and carry out a space walk one night when no one is looking.
Right, back to the here and now H & H immediately instigated operation Pink Welly and they were on it like a rash. As we are a village which is quite humble and private, (one example of this is that the Fire Brigade are ex-directory) we knew the press would be after a story so preventative measures had to be put in place.
This was now serious stuff indeed, the village street lights were dimmed by one of the ladies from the Woman’s Institute, signs were put up at access points to the village saying ‘we know nothing about a rocket launch in Florida’ this was to deter any television and press frenzy, you know what the media are like.
Large screens had been erected in the village pub to cover the launch, peopled rocked up from the nearby parishes, once the pub was full it went into lockdown (a regular occurrence) Sharps Brewery immediately called in a night shift to cope with the huge demand in beer that was inevitably to be consumed. Reports suggested that the record for drinking the yard of ale that had stood for many years in the village had been broken four times in the lead up to the launch alone.
Hoof went out to their Typhoon checked the oil, water, and screen washer fluid kicked the tyres, Horace was in his especially built navigators seat belted in and they were ready to go.
With everything now in place and under the cover of darkness Hoof and Horace roared down the runway of our field and into the night sky, it was so touching that a large crowd waved them off, well about 3 of us the rest were in the pub watching the screens.
The flight from Cornwall to Florida was completed well within the hour H & H touched down near to the Kennedy Space centre at the historic Pad 39A.
With the engines of the Typhoon still running Horace was out of his seat and his little pink wellies were going ten to the dozen as he sprinted across the tarmac and added a certain ingredient to the petrol tanks of the Falcon 9 rocket.
Hoof immediately went to the command centre where the launches are controlled from. As Hoof entered the CC to his amazement all the engineers where watching The Honda Classic Golf tournament from The PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Hoof let out a polite cough (No not a botty cough this would have cleared the CC) once they saw Hoof they all immediately stood to attention. Hoof gave the orders to prepare to launch the Falcon 9 Rocket, as he has the authority to pull rank on anyone in the world with his security clearance.
Horace had been over to check out all was good with the Falcon 9 rocket, he also reported that he had cleaned the headlights, checked the radiator for water, and corrected the tyre pressures.
Horace thought it would be very appropriate if the canteen lady who has been involved in this project should carry out the countdown, so for the millions of you who tuned in live this was in fact the voice you heard doing the old 10, 9, 8, etc business.
So on Saturday 2nd March 2019 at 07.49 GMT (02.49 EST) the Falcon 9 took off, for those of you who were watching at home (and no excuses as at 07.45 GMT the BBC went over live to cover this historic event).
Did you all notice once the rocket was leaving the launch pad, and the smoke had cleared just below the yellow flames what did we have yes ! Pink flames honestly, you cannot make this up check it out on YouTube. Horace has the mobile phone number on speed dial of the chief engineer who is responsible for the famous red, white, and blue smoke of the Red Arrows, and a mix was especially made up and put in the petrol tank of the space craft by Horace on arrival.
Our Village went ballistic with such a sense of pride in what our two home grown engineers had achieved. The large crowd not only started throwing beer everywhere in the pub, they also bust into song “There’s only one Hoof & Horace”. Sharps were struggling to keep up with demand as the launch pictures were being beamed live around the village.
A team from the NASA ground crew had refuelled H & Hs Typhoon while it was ticking over so they could get back to the village asap. Never try this with your own vehicle at the pumps, always turn off the engine and remove the ignition key.
With no time to lose Hoof had his foot hard down on the noisy pedal (accelerator) and Boys had their Typhoon flat out racing back across the Atlantic to the village for a full debrief in the pub before everyone had lost the ability to speak, and remember where they were at this moment when history was made.
I will leave you with this thought.
Isn’t it funny how red, white, and blue represent freedom,
Unless they are flashing behind you !
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