Friday, July 22

The Last Space Shuttle

I just can't imagine a time without the space program.  Back in the early days when our TV's were black and white with 2 channels, it has always been there.  As a nation we all watched together, it was something we shared.  Our love of adventure and the unknown reached into each of our living rooms and held us spellbound.

--This is the Friendship7 that lifted off  14th of February 1962 (I was only 4, so I don't remember if this was the first flight I saw televised. I am sure that we watched it take off into space and the splashdown).  I do remember being worried that astronauts would drown in the capsule before the people would get them out.  The capsule did not sink and they were just fine.  

Years passed and many successful and some tragic accidents later, we landed on the Moon in 1969,  our TV's had rabbit ear antennas and lots of static (but it was free).  Our picture was not clear like this shot, but we were happy to get a peak and be able to hear even part of the conversation between Nasa and the Astronauts.  I walked outside after watching the landing and looked at the moon and could not imagine that there really people on the moon.  

In 1992, my daughter and I went on a class field trip to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.  It was a fun day, the employees had so many things to show the kids.  They had a lot of questions for them. I could not believe the size of the rocket booster....Those are adults and kids in front of it.  It was really amazing.

Shortly after this we moved to Florida and watched all of the Shuttle liftoffs and landings from our backyard.  If I forgot about a landing, those twin sonic booms would get me running outside to catch a glimpse of the shuttle before it landed.

To the last and final shuttle mission, the Atlantis lifted off with the world watching once again.  I tuned into the NASA Channel to watch the take off and again for the landing.  I know there are so many different and opposing sides to the funding of the space program...I will hope that at another time, we will reach out to the stars again.