McGregor: "Rhett Revolution" makes it to space and back
A sticker, placed on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Monday which pays tribute to a local teen who died in 2015, has made its way to space and back.
"It was really emotional to see it go up and to know what we know now about rockets," Rhett Hering's mom, Lorna Hering said through tears.
"But to know Rhett was on it and that he was going to get to go to space. It was so much more emotional than I expected."
Back in July, SpaceX decided to honor 15-year-old Rhett Hering and the movement sparked by his death called the "Rhett Revolution," by placing a "Rhett Revolution" sticker on the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket at the McGregor testing facility.
On Monday, SpaceX launched the rocket while Lorna and Jimmy Hering watched on from a private viewing area at NASA in Florida.
"It's truly amazing to watch this rocket go up. The fire, to feel it, to hear it," Jimmy said. "And then seven minutes later to watch it come back down."
Two minutes after the Falcon 9 launch, the first stage booster with the "Rhett Revolution" sticker on board, separated from the rocket and like clock-work, landed 8 minutes later at a pad 11 miles away.
"Now we're sitting here waiting with excitement to see at some point if a piece of that Rhett Revolution sticker made it back," Jimmy said minutes after lift-off.
The landing site of the booster is not open to the public or the media but SpaceX invited KWTX to accompany Rhett's parents as they saw the booster just hours after it landed and when they finally got the answer to the question they had.
The sticker in their son's honor had made it back home and Space X says they hope to return it to the family soon.
"Really I'm speechless I think," Jimmy said. "This culminates an incredible two days."
When the booster carrying Rhett's message of love reentered the earth's atmosphere, it came back faster than the speed of sound but still landed just 4 feet from its exact target.
It's an ending to a mission for the Herings that they say came as no surprise.
"That was to be expected," Jimmy said. "Everything was perfect from the very beginning. Putting Rhett's sticker on it and allowing us to be a part of it and to land it almost dead on bullseye. It was meant to be."