When I tell people section of my job is covering rocket launches, it creates might work seem glamorous. And sure, its amazing to see one in personI cant describe the rush, the sensation of seeing something leave Earth, knowing its bound for things beyond the confines of our world.
But mostly, its only a good deal of sitting around. What gets hidden behind the mystique to be an area reporter is all of the waiting. Rocket launches are boring all night, days, sometimes even weeksand its own all worthwhile for the minutes you watch it lift off.
The truth is, you won’t ever know whats likely to happen and soon you make it happen. The week before last, I traveled right down to the area Coast of Florida to hopefully start to see the launch of Artemis I personally. THE AREA Launch System (SLS), NASAs new moon rocket, is among the most effective in history, and I needed to be there because of its initial liftoff.
I arrived bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and filled with optimism that SLS was indeed likely to remove as scheduled on August 29. That never happened. Instead, the ensuing days were spent seeing friends and attempting to plan coverage for a launch that kept getting delayed (I was there as a freelancer, and was largely seeking to write post-launch pieces about why it matters, since it does matter)and playing video gaming.
Before Steam Deck, I wasnt an enormous fan of portable gaming. I love my Nintendo Switch, but there haven’t been enough must-have titles to create it an important travel bag item. The Steam Deck differs, though. Im on the highway a whole lot for work, and contains gone everywhere with meincluding to the SLS launch.
To view SLS fly at 8: 33 am Eastern, once the launch window opened, I had to wake uplet me repeat that, I had to awakenat 11: 30 pm. The crowds were likely to be massive, around 200,000 people, and I didnt desire to skip the prelaunch events because I was stuck in traffic. Also, there have been 700 members of the press accredited because of this launch, and without a doubt the way the press parking lot and bullpen at Kennedy Space Center cannot hold that lots of people. I didnt desire to result in a Hunger Games situation for parking and a seat, so early/late it had been.
I attained the press site around 1 am, and after claiming my spot in the bullpen, there wasnt too much to do. I chatted with some friends, as bleary eyed when i was, and well, I simply waited.
The novelty wore off pretty fast. It had been steamy-hot outsidewere talking Florida swamp in Augustand freezing cold in the air-conditioned press room. And we’d countless hours to hold back. My shoes were wet because Id trekked through the grass to start to see the rocket lit up during the night (an understandable desire), however the varying temperatures meant that my feet were cold and were never likely to dry.
Thats about when I made a decision to check out my car. Id thrown a blanket and pillow in the rear of the rental upon leaving my Airbnb. I climbed in to the backseat, became popular my shoes, and put them while watching A/C vents, got beneath the blanket, pulled out my Steam Deck, and thrilled Mass Effect: Andromeda.
I didnt reach play for longeverything visited shit soon after. Through the tanking processwhen the rocket is loaded up with fuelthere was a liquid hydrogen leak. As the team could troubleshoot that, these were stymied by an engine that refused to cool properly. (SLS engines need to be very cold to be able to ignite, which one wasnt. It had been later determined to be always a faulty sensor.)
But having that escape from the hustle and bustleespecially one where individuals were sleep-deprived, anxious, and uncomfortablewas incredibly nice. So when the rocket didn’t launch as scheduled, it gave me something to accomplish when i waited at the press site all night while traffic died down.
I never surely got to visit a rocket rise that day, or in the times after. I dont know if Ill have the flexibleness to create it down for the SLSs next attempt, but what I know is that my Steam Deck is a must-have for just about any future trek to the area Coast.