Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were set to make history on Wednesday by becoming the first astronauts to take off from U.S. soil in nine years, doing so in a SpaceX capsule. There were several prominent figures on hand for this event, including an NFL quarterback, before a weather delay. Jacksonville Jaguars backup Josh Dobbs was prepared to watch the takeoff from the Kennedy Space Center.
Dobbs posted a photo on Wednesday that showed him standing at Kennedy Space Center. He expressed excitement about the moment and the opportunity to witness history. Large crowds were not allowed at the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and NASA had requested that they watch from home. However, Dobbs was able to be on hand due to being an intern at Kennedy Space Center.
In addition to attending the highly-anticipated launch, Dobbs also took part in some of NASA's coverage. He appeared during Monday's Q&A segment to discuss the upcoming launch, as well as his time serving as an intern at the Kennedy Space Center. The fourth-round draft pick graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in aeronautical engineering and has been keeping busy in Florida.
Dobbs is back at the Kennedy Space Center for the offseason. The NFL Players Association's externship program made this possible and provided the Jaguars quarterback with the opportunity to use his degree in a unique environment. He spoke about the internship during an episode of Rocket Ranch, NASA's podcast.
"It's been pretty much a whirlwind of a week," Dobbs said about his first week as an intern. "I started off in the NE-XI division where I was working in instrumentation and spent a day shadowing them, seeing the hazardous gas detection system, learning about the wind profile that they have for launch day, the weather protection system on the mobile launcher. So, just seeing different things and understanding how the instrumentation works from an electrical point of view.
"And then from there every single day has been a different opportunity where I've gone from there to, I've gone to flight accessories, so seeing the different umbilicals, how they work, how they secure the rocket to the mobile launcher," Dobbs continued. "To seeing different tasks that they're performing on the instrumentation, to then see, learning about the core stage and how it's going through this green run testing. ... I've learned about the SLS, the whole space program, the Artemis Project, Orion, which goes on top of SLS."
The SpaceX launch is delayed due to "unfavorable weather" in the flight path. Now the launch could take place on Saturday at 3:22 p.m. ET. If so, Dobbs will likely be on hand for the event.