Dennis Brown | November 23, 2020
At 6:03 p.m., Nov. 21, Notre Dame sophomore Lucas Hopkins could look to the sky from his family’s home southeast of Houston and watch his father fly overhead.
Just four minutes later, his dad, U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Hopkins, flew over the Notre Dame campus.
Time flies when you’re speeding 250 miles above planet Earth at 17,500 miles per hour aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Six days earlier, Lucas was with his mom Julie, older brother Ryan and other family members and friends watching his dad lift off to the ISS from the Kennedy Space Center as commander of the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon.
“We were at a building about two miles away (from Launch Complex 39A), and 15 minutes before launch we went up on the roof,” Lucas said. “We were all tracking our heart rates and they shot up as it got closer.
“As soon as the rocket lights up, it’s a combination of nervousness and excitement. I mean, my dad is strapped to the top of this rocket. It’s an insane mix of emotions, but such a good feeling. I felt confident after about three minutes (into the flight), but my mom was pretty nervous throughout. Once they were about seven minutes in, everything looked good.”
Read more here.