For a little boy who dreams of working in the Mission Control room and watching a rocket launch, Ezra’s wish to visit the Kennedy Space Center was, indeed, a dream-come-true!
Ezra, age 6, has always had a special dream – a dream to see a rocket launch. For the past few years, however, that dream seemed unlikely since Ezra has been battling a life-threatening genetic disorder. Throughout his treatment, Ezra endured two transplants which left him in isolation on many occasions. Along with his family, the one thing that helped Ezra through his stays in isolation were documentaries of rocket launches.
When Ezra was asked, “If you could have one wish, what would it be?”, Ezra went back to the thing he loved—rockets!
As the season brought in cooler weather, Ezra and his family flew down to sunny Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center, where they would see a real-life rocket launch.
On the first day of their visit, Ezra and his family explored the Kennedy Space Center and were given tours of the facility. “We explored every corner of the Kennedy Space Center where Ezra saw all the launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), launch control, and all the rockets and space shuttles on display,” said Ezra’s mom. While on one of their tours, the Chief Operating Officer of the Center found Ezra and gifted him with an astronaut suit. Overcome with excitement, Ezra put on his suit and did not take it off for the rest of the day. Throughout his exploring, many Kennedy Space Center visitors asked for a picture with Ezra, which added more excitement to his day.
On the second day at the Space Center, Ezra toured mission control and met astronaut J.R. Reilly. Reilly spent quality time with Ezra and told him all about the mechanics of a space shuttle.
During these first two days at the Space Center, Ezra had eagerly been awaiting the launch of the Atlas 5 rocket, which was headed back to space on a resupply mission. Unfortunately, the launch was cancelled each day due to poor visibility and weather. “The problem was getting the rocket off the ground. We anxiously had awaited three launch attempts and each time around the launch was scrubbed,” Ezra’s mom said, leaving a disappointed Ezra.
With several days left of their trip, and hopes to still see the rocket launch, the family entered the weekend with many fun activities planned including Ezra’s first time at the beach. As he jumped the waves he proudly exclaimed, “I love this!”
On Sunday, the weather was finally favorable and Ezra’s parents asked him if he wanted to try to make it to the rocket launch one more time. With a resounding “yes!” from Ezra, they made the trip back to the Space Center to see the launch. When they arrived they were treated like VIPs, led to a special area, and were able to watch the launch from the roof of Mission Control!
Ezra’s dream of seeing a rocket launch had come true! He triumphantly proclaimed that “it was the best day of my life!”