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I watched the news report and listened as John Glen orbited the earth in Friendship 7, thanks to a thoughtful third grade teacher. I felt like I shared history with the U.S. Space program.
I remember John F. Kennedy speaking about the race to space and landing a man on the moon. I shared that history, too, as my mother and I stayed up late one night to watch the Astronaut jump onto the ground and take…”one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But at the time, I wondered who took the picture of the first Astronaut stepping onto the moon, if someone else hadn’t already done that? I saved the newspaper headlines the next day which said in bold letters: FIRST MAN ON THE MOON!
From that point on, I decided that one day, I would travel to space as a tourist. After all, America had made great strides during the sixties. Nothing could stop us now. But something did stop us.
I watched each time the Astronauts took off with excitement, and cried when disaster struck. These great rockets they used were real, and so were the risks each of those brave Astronauts took.
Living in Florida most of my life, made each of these adventures more personal, since Cape Canaveral (now, Kennedy) was just a couple hours away. When two of my children and I went to visit my family in south Florida, I decided to take my first trip to the Cape.
The place was awesome! There was a lot to see and do there, but we only had a few hours. Yes, I had heard about the rumors of the moon landing hoax. But I refused to believe them. Then I got to see the actual equipment that was used to land a man on the moon.
At first, I thought, this can’t be it. I read the information and stepped closer to study the pod. The first thing that came to mind was how in the world did a man fit inside this thing? It looked like a funky bar-be-que grill with tons of gold colored foil over the top. It appeared more like a backyard science project. And this thing had been in space?
I was disappointed after that. All the leaps in technology in the sixties pretty much stalled out in the late seventies. Whatever happened to the flying car that was talked about in the 70’s? I had planned on driving one after I got my first convertible. Well, here it is, 30 years later, and I’m driving that convertible. I was so looking forward to flying around like the Jetsons. That show came out in the 60’s didn’t it?
Computers have gone from the size of houses to fit on our laps and in our pockets and NASA is still using the same type of rockets. Does it seem like technology is moving forward everywhere except where the government has a hand in things?
Catalog Page for PIA13301.
Bright Lights, Green City compliments of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Maybe, if we turn the space program over to the private sector, we may actually DO something. It could produce more jobs because this planet is getting a little crowded. We should be colonizing other planets by now. In all this time, we could have built Biospheres on the moon and Mars, grown plants and raised food sources.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we have made great strides in parts of the program, like the Hubble, and WISE, and the things they are doing on Mars and the pictures we’re getting from Cassini. But looking back at the time man first entered into space, if we had kept that pace, we should have visited all the planets in our solar system by now, started mining some of those planets, colonized others, and started looking beyond our solar system by interacting with some of our visitors from outer space.
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What do you think?