Learn to Fly

“I’m looking to the sky to save me
Looking for a sign of life
Looking for something help me burn out bright

I’m looking for a complication
Looking ’cause I’m tired of trying
Make my way back home
When I learn to fly”

Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters

I’ve had a VERY astronomical Sunday.

It started with a cold, dark, 5am start and me standing out in my back yard staring up at the sky and catching about a dozen glimpses of “shooting stars” – as the annual Eta-Aquarids Meteor Shower was at its most visible in the eastern sky.

As I’ve written before, this star-gazing is a bit of a new thing for me. But today would add an extra level of interest and depth.

We spent the day out and about around Hawke’s Bay going to Anderson Park playground in Napier and Keirunga Park Railway in Havelock North under stunning, clear blue skies on a play date with our daughter and her friend.

As we drove back to Napier from Havelock North along SH2 and Marine Parade there was a clear view north and east across Hawke Bay towards Wairoa and Mahia and we remembered there was to be a Rocketlab launch that evening.

Sure enough 6pm rolled around and, after a delay on Saturday night, Sunday’s launch was a complete success – with the added bonus of, due to the darkened evening sky, it being visible from miles away.

Hundreds, maybe even thousands around Hawke’s Bay saw a very bright red-yellow light slowly rising in the eastern sky – Hawke’s Bay reaching for the stars!

I know this little dot doesn’t look like much, but this is the first live rocket launch most HB people would have seen!

That number included the Frame family.

As little as ten years ago I couldn’t have imagined that I would be standing in my back yard watching rockets being launched from a Hawke’s Bay site!

But here we are!

For my five year old daughter this is, hopefully, her new, very spectacular, normal.

This was very, VERY cool! (I must even admit to shedding a proud tear or two.)

In 2014 National government Finance Minister Bill English had the audacity to say, while on a visit to Napier, that:

“Hawke’s Bay’s seasonal low-wage economy “isn’t going to change in a hurry, so let’s get good at it.”.

How wrong he was.

While Auckland-centric commercial media networks still obsess over surreal estate and traffic issues, Hawke’s Bay is thriving, growing and reaching for the stars!

I’m looking forward to watching more Rocketlab launches on clear winter evenings and New Zealand being reminded of just how astronomical Hawke’s Bay’s future will be!

“Three, two, one, blast-off!” A screen-grab of Rocketlab’s most excellent live stream service just a few moments before I courl see it with my own eyes!

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