Press Release

Link To Launch First Small Step draws Giant Crowd

By SpaceRef Editor
June 23, 2008
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Link To Launch First Small Step draws Giant Crowd

Estimated 1,000 Floridians gather at Port Canaveral to promote Importance of Space to Nation

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Port Canaveral, Florida – The “Link to Launch” rally at Port Canaveral drew an estimated 1,000 people who joined hands, counted down with the roar of a shuttle launch recording, and stretched their linked hands skyward as the first step in raising the awareness that space is critical to US security, culture and economic competitiveness. The crowd of citizens included children, retirees and those representing small and large businesses, unions, and civic organizations gathered in throngs outside the field hearing of the Senate sub-committee on Space.

The rally, organized by local groups and individuals in the area, was designed to provide a human backdrop that would remind the Senators going inside the hearing, and candidates nationwide, that space is an extremely important issue, especially to the voters of Florida. Senator Bill Nelson requested that the filed hearing be held in Brevard County to bring the policy makers to the Space Coast and hear testimony from local experts.

The public gathered to hear welcome and thank you addresses from Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez before they entered the Port Authority building to participate in the hearing. After a 15 second countdown led by Lead organizer Dale Ketcham, the crowed lifted their linked hands in a show of solidarity to promote the importance of the Space Program to the United States. Link to Launch seeks to raise the awareness of the current and future leaders of the US, and the general public about the importance of ensuring that NASA has the capabilities to keep our nation from losing ground in the advancement of our society.

Less than one percent of the national budget goes to support future NASA endeavors, which many feel puts our decades of investment, current national security and future competitiveness in world markets at risk. More information on the movement, day’s events, and messages can be found at

SpaceRef staff editor.