Was the Apollo moon landing.....
Anyone around have any memories of seeing it? It was
actually one of my first memories. My mother got me up
to watch this and she kept talking about "Uncle Dale", my
brother's godfather. Dale Myers was in charge of the actual
capsule -- from the design to the operation of it.
Since I was a toddler, I was relatively confused at what I was
seeing -- space suits weren't exactly common. And Mom's
running commentary had me convinced that my Uncle Dale
was actually on the moon.
What I do remember vividly was the air of excitement. It was
something so dramatic and amazing -- we were on the moon!
From the time of John Kennedy's challenge to land on the moon
by the end of the decade to the first step on the moon, there was
a "can-do" spirit about the people of this country. Can you imagine
trying to do something like that today? The naysayers have
virtually taken over -- those pessimists who give us a constant stream
of reasons why something cannot be done. Thank God they weren't
out in force at NASA in the 1960s.
In the hail of lawsuits, naysayers and massive growth of bureaucracy
it seems as though there is a spirit descending on our country that
things just cannot be accomplished. The best we can do, I hear repeatedly,
is just get through the next day.
NASA certainly tries to keep things moving forward, though. It was terrific
to see the successful shuttle mission conclude this week. Remember when
shuttle missions were front page, top story news? Now they are only news
when they blow up. Not a good turn of events for the marketing department
I can remember one Thanksgiving at the Myers' house. Since we had a small
family, the Myers, among others, became family to us. It was great fun, mostly
because you never knew which astronauts or diplomats would grace the table.
I was standing outside with one particular well-known astronaut -- he was
gazing up at the moon.
Finally, he noticed I was there and I quietly asked him about his mission
experience. He laughed and said he was just thinking about the little car
he had left on the moon. All he would have to do is go back and drop a
battery in it and take off.
The wistful look in his eyes said it all -- he was an adventurer longing to go
back to the furthest reaches of space exploration. He told me about the space
rocks, the feeling of weightlessness, and re-entry.
Whenever I look up at the moon now, I think about that little car. Maybe,
because of the astonaut and Shuttle teams, my children or grand-children
may take space trips as easily as we get on airplanes.....something I'm sure
my great-grandparents pondered as well.
The benefits of a strong space program are well-documented. From the
inventions, to the medical breakthroughs, to the accelerated technological
development....it is well-worth the effort.
All we need is the spirit of adventure again, I guess. And a battery.