Kids watch shuttle lift off

At first it's just like any other day at the Y ... Only all eyes are on the t.v. And the countdown begins.

Sheer awe oozes from little eyes as the shuttle lifts off. For most of these little ones space travel is more than just a dream.

9 year old Jewel Smiley says, "I read a book about the first black, african american going into space."

Some children also remember past tragedies in the space program.

9 year old Wallace Jones says, "A piece had gotten to the gas tank ... And um ... It was going real fast, so it exploded."

Some children felt a connection to University of Alabama graduate ... Pilot James Kelley.

9 Year Old Brittany Kennedy says,  "It makes me proud, because if I want to be an astronaut, i can just stay in Montgomery and be one."

Others felt a bond to the shuttle knowing part of it was manufactured at the Marshall Space flight Center in Huntsville.

9 Year old Joslyn Winn tells us, "I think it's pretty cool that they made part of the rocket, that's pretty important here in our own state."

Career goals are also inspired, as 9 year old Jada Lawson talks about being in space.

"Because they have a lot of fun up there. They have gravity up there where you can flip and do whatever you want."

Inspiration, determination and a connection to alabama have left all these children with a special feeling.

Joslyn adds, "Yea it makes me proud."

And who knows among these young spectators could be tomorrow's space explorers.

Reported By:  Ashley Anderson