Light this Candle


Space exploration is one of my great interests, particularly the early missions. There were a lot of unknowns at the time. Those riding on top of a rocket filled with tons of explosive fuel truly did have the right stuff. This piece skewed more into pure illustration. I wanted to tell more of a story with the technology of the time. It was also a really enjoyable process to research and illustrate the different components.

The story behind the quotes goes like this: Shephard had been sitting in the capsule for hours, waiting as controllers dealt with one launch delay after another. As a result of the coffee and orange juice he had drank at breakfast, he requested permission to uninate. This was something they hadn’t considered, as his flight was only supposed to last 15 minutes. There was a real fear he could short circuit the wiring in his space suit. He was finally given permission to do so. After another delay, an irked Shepard, with the now cooling urine pooled in his suit, announced, “I’m cooler than you are! Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” The countdown resumed and Shephard lifted-off a few minutes later.