Plenty of kids grow up wishing to be an astronaut. Floating like a bubble in a vast pit of darkness; the earth below looking like a soccer ball you can kick; giant rockets; the possibility of little green aliens dropping by for coffee and stale Oreos — it’s a highly evocative thought. It’s why many of us ran around the house as a child with a bucket on our heads, breathing deeply as if we were Neil Armstrong himself.
But like many awesome careers, achieving that goal arrives with huge sacrifice — like living in space for months on end, away from your family.
Stephanie, a 13-year-old astronaut’s daughter from Houston, Texas, who deeply misses her father during his trips to space, wanted to send a message he’d never forget. Her dad, whose name was not released, is spending much of his time aboard the International Space Station.
Hyundai had an idea. Using a dry lake as large as a city and some extra spiky tires bolted to 11 of its Genesis sedans, perhaps it would be possible to write a note to her father that is visible from space.
“Steph (hearts) You!” was the proposed message and Nevada’s Delamar Dry Lake the location. Watch the video to see the choreographed driving take place, a feat that netted a Guinness World Record for “the largest tire track image.”
“He’s seen so many amazing things up there,” Stephanie says, after getting word from her father that not only had he seen the note but even taken a picture of it with his camera. “I hope this was the most special.”
Having taken his snap of the city-sized message, her father radioed Earth: “Hi Stephanie, it’s Dad. I just wanted to call to say I love you and thank you.”
In my book, that’s better than any surprise alien brunch.