Any space-bound object leaves this earth and enters space when the power of its lift frees it from attachment to gravitation, when it reaches escape velocity.
Any heaven-bound soul leaves this world and enters Heaven when its sanctifying grace renders it free from attachment to sin and worldliness.
Grace is a gift undeserved. It is the rocket-fuel we need to reach our potential to escape. One’s whole life needs to be arranged around maximizing the opportunities for receiving it: avoiding sin, receiving the Sacraments, becoming a loyal child of God. This is not as simple as it sounds as we are stalked by a saboteur intent on producing an explosion on the launch-pad. His only power is the ability to intimidate and demoralise us, which he attempts to achieve through misinformation and emotional manipulation. Part of our mission in this life is to outwit his devilish interventions.
Launch day is our dying day. Get ready, fill your lamps, fuel your engines, check your cockpit, pray to God. Cross yourself, and your fingers too (if you believe that helps).
You only get one go. Take-off is full of commotion and noise and discomfort and the shedding of attached frozen condensates. Watch this movie to understand:
PS: The falling white stuff is chunks of ice shaken off the liquid oxygen tanks by the violent vibration of the rocket. As a child, I thought it was just a dodgy paint job giving its game away. Children can be so wrong-minded sometimes, can’t we.