The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

Part 3: A Dedication

Due to family needs I’ve had to come to Florida a bit earlier than planned… my stepdad passed away on the morning of June 28 after a long and difficult fight with cancer. I wasn’t able to get here in time to see him before he died, but I’m helping my mom deal with the change and getting things straightened out around the house. Next week I’ll head over to the Space Coast to attend the Tweetup and witness the launch, now officially scheduled for 11:23 am on June 8.

I know it’s purely personal, but I’m dedicating the launch to my stepdad. Joe and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things, and we were different people, but he did a lot for me when I was growing up and took care of my mom and my grandmother for many years – and that’s no small feat. I’ll always appreciate that. And he always appreciated my artistic abilities, even when I didn’t. So even though everyone will be watching Atlantis take off into the sky next Friday, I’ll be watching it and thinking of him and what he had to go through to leave this world.

Like a launching shuttle it sometimes takes an awful lot to break free.

Joseph Marshall, Jr. (1942 – 2011)


  1. So sorry for your loss! What a beautiful dedication for him!


  2. Stargazer135 says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. I completely understand your desire to dedicate the launch to your stepfather. The launch is scheduled on what would have been my mom’s birthday, and even though she passed away 19 years ago, I still think of her daily.


  3. Brian Harrison says:

    My deepest sympathies to you for your loss, but what a wonderful dedication !
    My wife fights her own battle with cancer, so I can fully comprehend what you and your family have gone through – it`s never easy !


  4. Lauri says:

    A wonderful tribute. RIP, Mr. Marshall. I am sorry for your family’s loss.


  5. I am so sorry about your StepFather’s passing. I lost both my parents within a year.

    “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” I admire your composure to pull it together to watch this last launch of our last shuttle. I look forward to following you.

    Again, sorry for your loss.

    Dr. R


    1. J. Major says:

      Thank you Dr R. I appreciate your sentiments.


  6. Mark R Smith says:

    Thanks for sharing your feelings about him.


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