The Final Shuttle Launch was this morning and as I tried to catch a view from my balcony, I couldn't help but feel a touch of melancholy.
Thirty Years of watching the shuttles rise into the sky like a giant lighted arrow... aiming for the stars. Holding my breath until I heard the calm words from the voice of NASA ... a successful launch.. all systems go.
And, before that..watching Alan Shepard, the First American to go into space and then the following missions. At one time, I'd bet every child in school and many adults could name the 7 Mercury astronauts.
I've been connected to NASA almost all my life having grown up in Houston. I can remember when NASA came to town. There temporary office on 45 heading towards Galveston was teeny compared to the huge complex it became. Every visitor we had got a trip down to NASA.... my best friend's dad was in Public Relations with NASA and traveled with the astronauts. And, when we lived in Orlando we had the good fortune to watch several day and night launches from our home or boat.
As you get older, you become accustomed to seeing things, places and people come and go. And, as is often the case, to be replaced by something made better by the dedication, sacrifice and hours of those who came before.
I know many might say the money spent for space exploration could and should be better spent on the many problems we face today. And, it's hard to argue with that... but I think it's the dreams we have... the hope and possibilities of the future, some that may not seem as practical, that keep us going in tough times.
For Your Pleasure......