And then their Soyuz rocket lights up, 20 engines are roaring and pushing and 27 million horsepower catapult the crew of Expedition 40/41 upwards. In just a little over 8 minutes they reach space, zero gravity, their home-environment for the next 5 1/2 months. And only 6 hours later they are approaching their actual "house" in this harsh zero-g environment; the International Space Station.
And over the past two years Astronaut Reid Wiseman had been a big motivator, helping me with one of my projects, communicating with me, educating me and virtually taking me along his training for this mission. I had come to really admire and appreciate him and when he asked for a favor, I would make sure to show my appreciation for all of his help.
On my laptop (see below) I had a window with George's Phantom 2 view on the left and NASA TV with the hatch opening on the right; both streaming live!