Updated: Jul 20, 2021
Space, the final frontier, these are the voyages...of civilians who can afford to go.
Today, at 9am, I watched the second civilian flight into space in two weeks. Last week, Richard Branson (gajillionaire owner of Virgin) went to the edge of the atmosphere / space, in a glider / jet sort of thing. Today, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, and his brother, and Wally Funk and Oliver Daemon. Wally was the oldest person in space as of today. Oliver, who just graduated from high school, was the youngest. When the funding to NASA was cut by then-President Obama, I was pissed. I was always fascinated by space. I thought "If this is going to rely on business, we will never get to Mars in my lifetime (manned on Mars).
I was a total sceptic, until today. I saw the rocket go up, I saw them hit the edge of the atmosphere. In the 11 minute flight, you could hear the excitement in Wally Funk's voice, screaming her excitement. Watching the dry land landing of not only their capsule, but the rocket booster itself, was fascinating. I won't deny I cried when I saw it happen. I wondered what my grandfather would say. He was fascinated with space as well. A product of his own time, the concept of man moving through the void was overwhelming to him. I remember watching rockets launch when I was little, seeing the Enterprise tested one day, then seeing the orbiter shuttles launch. They got to be so commonplace, they were only covered in disasters. Christa McCauliffe said "I touch the future, I teach." She was the first teacher to go to the Space program. She died in the Challenger tragedy. My high school physics teacher, Dave, had tried out for that program. He knew her. Knowing that sort of stuff made the space program even closer to personal.
Recently, the Mars lander flew drones on Mars, we heard sound of wind on Mars. Incredible. I can't wait to see what comes next. Whatever it is, it has to be forward. We are so divided here on Earth right now. We need to get behind the concept of expansion, exploration and knowledge. There is so much we can learn now, and the journey to space really restarted this year. Let's go