Monday, September 29, 2014

Here I go...

Oh, great - another blog...right? Yes, pretty much, but this one is mine. There are many like it, but...wait...that's from a movie. I digress. Where was I? we go:

I love space, the space program, astronomy, and all things associated with said things. I have no industry knowledge (other than what I read online), but I do have an opinion. I love discussing things with people, and I hope that this can be an outlet where we can share thoughts and ideas. Agreement might not always be the order of the day - and, quite honestly, that's when the best conversation can occur - but if you're here, I can only assume we ultimately want the same thing: a thriving and robust space program.

Outside the Michoud Assembly Facility
I suppose I should start with the basics - I've been a fan of the space program for as long as I can remember. Though I was alive when the last of the moon landings occurred, I was an infant and have no direct recollection. That actually saddens me a bit. The earliest memories I have of the space program are the Enterprise approach and landing tests (ALTs) and of the Space Transportation System (or, as most people call it, the Space Shuttle). In those days, one could not hop on the Internet for the latest news and info - the local and network news (along with the newspaper) were really the only sources of space news to be had.

I fondly recall having a heated discussion with my preschool teacher (yes - I was that type of student) that the contrails seen overhead when on the playground was from Enterprise on its way to landing in Florida. Never mind the fact that I lived several hundred miles north of KSC...and that the ALTs were occurring in California - I *knew* that was Enterprise. I must've been so passionate and persuasive (or the teacher was humoring me...wait - they wouldn't do that...would they?) that the teacher would acquiesce to the point of saying that I might be right. Win!

I gobbled up every bit of space info that I would come across, much to the annoyance of many around me (some would say that part of me hasn't changed)...but I had parents that supported my interests. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would instantly say: "An astronaut!". I'm still waiting to grow up so I can make that dream come true.

If a launch was scheduled for a school day, I would lobby to get my parents to allow me to stay home (I don't think I was ever successful)...or ask the teacher to wheel in a TV so we could watch it in class. I remember the elation I'd feel when I'd see Columbia or Challenger (and, later, DiscoveryAtlantis, and Endeavour) ascend on a pillar of fire and smoke on their way to orbit. I still feel a deep pain at the losses we've incurred during our nascent steps off Earth. Though I've had no direct involvement (other than being a taxpayer), I feel a strong connection to the space program. It's a part of me.

I know there are many more like me out there, and I'm glad to have connected with some of you at the NASA Social at Michoud and Stennis. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.