Apparently I’m the last to know about Neil Armstrong dying, since I’ve been working at the ranch outside almost all day long. RIP, moon man. I was only just past a year old when he piloted the Eagle to Tranquility Base and touched down, but I’ve been fascinated by space forever, and the images beamed back from that first step (and Walter Cronkite’s reaction!) are ingrained on my brain as if I watched it live myself. A true hero, remarkable not just for what he achieved, but for how he handled himself through the years after taking that one small step. We should all be so fortunate to have that kind of character.
Or at least Mars. Twelve and a half hours left until Curiosity (hopefully) touches down on Mars. One day – and I hope this is within my lifetime – we will send people to Mars. I’ll be staying up late to catch NASA TV covering their “seven minutes of terror”, and even the 14 minute wait for transmissions from Mars to reach us here won’t be anywhere near the delays of NBC and their atrocious coverage of the Summer Games.
Most people will never see a launch of the space shuttle live. We went two years ago to the Cape and saw one, and I have to say it is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever witnessed, being a space buff – I’m very happy to have gone, sitting in the blazing hot sun waiting, hoping the countdown would not stall. This one was likely no less a treat for the folks on board.