John Hale was only six years old back in 1981 when he had first glimpse of the first space shuttle launch. He was at their family’s oceanfront home in Crescent Beach back then. Now at 37 years old, John Hale, of Jacksonville still have memories of those days, Â “I remember more about the landing, We clamored around the TV and waited for it to land â€” it was a big deal to see if the thing survived re-entry and landedâ€, he said.
According to John, he has then developed a passion for anything about shuttle. He now has treasured collections of shuttle toys and souvenirs. He even grieved for the loss of Columbia and Challenger. As much as possible he would watch and enjoy vantage points from Jacksonville of each and every launch. And now, he would still enjoy watching those launch videos from YouTube.
On Friday, another shuttle launch is scheduled. John Hale, together with other shuttle enthusiasts, will definitely mourn for the final shuttle launch of Atlantis. However, due to unpredictable weather, NASA predicted that there is only 30% chance the mission will push through. A lot of Jacksonville residents, who grew up watching space shuttle launch one after another, are greatly affected about the final shuttle launch. For them, itâ€™s like an era has come to an end as well.