Friday, 8 July 2011

Atlantis, the end of an era

Space shuttle Atlantis will hopefully have successfully made it into space (and back depending on when you read this). This mission marks the end of NASA's space shuttle program and the end of an era in space travel. In it's 25 year history, Atlantis was the first shuttle to send a probe to another planet and to dock with a space station. This will have been it's 33rd mission.

I've always been impressed with NASA and was so jealous of the guy from my university physics course who went to work there. Isn't it amazing to think we put a man on the moon using about the same computer power as a game boy?!

I always wanted to be an astronaut but dodgy ears and a distinct lack in some of the qualities necessary meant this was never to be. After declaring that I was going to be an astronaut at the age of 7 I can remember my Mum and Dad saying "We'd worry about you out there in space". I think it's awesome they took me seriously, this always makes me smile when I think back on it.

I hope we don't wait too long before getting people into space again. These photos are from the newspaper my Dad saved from the first moon landing in 1969 when manned space exploration was new and pretty much everyone was excited or at least interested. I'm still just as excited as the first time I saw a shuttle launch on our little tv at home and since seeing the Challenger disaster I'm still as nervous in case something goes wrong. Those astronauts are some brave people.

For me this Arthur Russell song captures the feeling surrounding the amazing achievements human beings have made possible in space.


E. Amato said...

Lovely. I wanted to be an astronaut, too. But I'm afraid of heights. Small problem.

chalky said...

I can see how that might get in the way!

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