I recently started collaborating with the independent space news site NSF, also known as nasaspaceflight.com. They invited me down to Florida last week to help with the production of a few videos and their live coverage of the launch of the Crew-7 mission to the Space Station. I detailed the trip in my latest video.
NSF’s YouTube channel has a strong following, nearing a million subscribers. They cover most of the rocket launches from Florida and from SpaceX’s Starbase in Texas along with on demand coverage about the space industry worldwide. In addition to their news and event coverage they have cameras that provide a live 24/7 feed of activities at the Kennedy Space Center & Port Canaveral, and SpaceX’s two Texas locations.
I’ve already contributed as a co-host for five launches. These collaborations don’t interfere with my regular channel activities, and they allow me to find a more productive outlet for my space passion.
On the trip the NSF crew and I had the opportunity to tour the United Launch Alliance’s launchpads in Florida. The sheer scale of these rockets and launchpads is awe-inspiring. You can see more photos and footage in the video linked above. The video we produced at their facilities will be up at NSF in the near future.
We also witnessed the rollout of an Atlas V rocket. This particular Atlas V is in its most powerful configuration, with five solid rocket boosters attached. There are just under two dozen Atlas V launches remaining until it is replaced by the new larger Vulcan rocket. The mission rolling out was for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) which is mostly classified but they have released some details here.
Later that night we went to the Kennedy Space Center to cover the launch of Crew-7 to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon. The launch was at 3:30 a.m., the second night launch I’ve witnessed in person. The rocket also successfully landed back at the nearby Cape Canaveral landing site, which was another highlight of this adventure! In the video you can see the landing and hear the massive sonic booms too.
This opportunity came about over my frustration with the performance of my space related videos. My recent coverage of the Artemis 1 launch didn’t perform as well as I’d hoped on my own channel. This is due to the YouTube algorithm siloing creators into one specific topic – in fact most of my subscribers didn’t even see the thumbnail for those videos!
As poor as those videos performed they did get noticed by a member of the NSF team who asked if I was up for a collaboration and the rest is now history :).