CHICAGO — The engineers and scientists at NASA are celebrating the launch of the Artemis 1 rocket on Wednesday.
One of Chicago’s very own was right there with them celebrating the launch after several delays stretching back to August.
Anthony and his two brothers were along for the ride with their mother Katie Gaskin keeping a close watch.
“It was something really special,” Katie said. “An amazing moment.”
Katie’s son, Anthony, died from a brain tumor called DIPG for short. Anthony was a space geek and loved all things NASA.
Several years ago before he died, she posted a video on social media about her son’s love of all things space. NASA invited the Gaskin family to their Alabama location.
NASA treated the family to a VIP tour and gave Anthony a custom memento. They even let all of her sons sign the rocket, where they remained for all these years.
On Wednesday, the Gaskin’s had a watch party for the launch at their Mt. Greenwood home.
“To watch in the early hours this morning with Luke and Dan,” Katie said, “to watch the three of them to go to space together, it was something really special. An amazing moment.”
The rocket with test dummies aboard will help NASA eventually reach the moon and lay the groundwork for deep space exploration.
Katie said she is forever grateful for the experience and its help in spreading the news about DIPG.
“I’m so proud of Anthony and so proud of Luke and Danny,” she said. “And at the same time I wish things were different. That he was here with us and that his name in memory wasn’t going to space, that he was here and cancer didn’t take him away from us. So today I just feel like I’m a mix of emotions, sadness.”
After her son died, Katie, family and friends formed Anthony’s Avengers – dedicated to raising awareness to find a cure for DIPG brain tumors.