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RoyY51
09-21-2012, 05:38 PM
As most of you already know, NASA sent The Endeavor on a fly-by over Southern California today, causing gridlock on freeways and parking structures throughout the land. It was a moment that I will remember the rest of my life. When I got home from work and logged on to facebook, I saw the following query from one of my younger facebook friends:

"Why is everyone so excited about that space shuttle???"

The responses ranged from "UGH boring", to "Okay, here I am working and ya'll are looking up in the sky and I don't even know what the Endeavor is!" followed by "My thoughts exactly LOL!"

I thought that, perhaps, the viewpoint of an older, more experienced geezer might be enlightening, so I posted the following:

"Speaking strictly for myself, it gives me a feeling that I don't get too often anymore...it makes me proud to be an American. It takes me back to a time before politicians were expected to be corrupt, before wars were fought for petroleum and before The United States of America apologized for doing what was right. It reminds me that there used to be hope for a brighter future...when the exploration of space was an attainable goal and sending men to the planets was just a matter of time. Seeing that Glorious Craft in the sky reminds me that, once, Americans were all united in a single cause...and that makes me proud!"

I look forward to your thoughts and comments. Is space exploration now just a forlorn concept for us older folks or is there hope for the younger generation as well...provided that they can stop staring at their cellphones long enough to formulate the concept of "hope"?

RoyY51
09-22-2012, 06:16 PM
Over 100 views and not a single comment. Where did I go wrong?

GMichael
09-24-2012, 05:10 AM
I'm right there with you Roy. It's sad that so few people get behind the space program anymore.
I remember our whole family gathering with excitement to watch the first few steps on the moon. Maybe if our leaders would step up and say a few words on how important it is, there would be more excitement about it.

ForeverAutumn
09-24-2012, 05:30 AM
Speaking as someone who is in the middleÖtoo young to remember the moon landing, but old enough to appreciate itís significanceÖI just donít think that itís relevant to young people anymore. It was a HUGE accomplishment in its day, but anyone under, say, 35 grew up with this being history.

Itís like cars. If you were born in the late 1800s, the first time you saw a car was probably memorable. But now they are so integrated into our lives that their invention isnít significant anymore. The same with TV. My mom never had a TV growing up. My first TV was black and white. My nieces watch TV on their computers. Again, itís so common that the history no longer seems of any importance.

I suspect that space travel is similar. Itís not innovative or important if itís something that you grew up with.

As for historical and political relevance, space travel was a big deal and stood for patriatism during the cold war. But it doesn't play a big role in today's wars or acts of terrorism. The world is different than it was in the 60s. Today's kids have different fears and concerns. When I was a kid I feared WW3 and nuclear weapons...it was fear of things happening on a national level; countries fighting countries. Kids today have to be concerned about some ******* flying planes into buildings, subways being bombed and germ warfare. It's no longer about countries fighting countries and patriotism. It's about rogue cells of people filled with hatred. It's random. It's a different world.

markw
09-24-2012, 06:26 AM
Durn good AR post, too.

We grew up about the same time. I remember putting together Revell and Monogram model rockets, Alan Shepard being one of my heroes when I was in grade school, and watching the moon landing, live, with by buds in an Air Force barracks on the gulf coast. I also remember my heart stopping and almost breaking out in tears when the Challenger exploded.

The space program gave us all a common goal to share and, as a nation, be proud of. It made us one in our goal. Te country spoke one language and we shared one goal. We were all part of the same ideal.

In the subsequent years, we've been so balkanized that we share little with others as far as goals and aspirations go.. The "me" generation has become the ruling goal.

Again, great post, Ray. Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I'm not here as often as I once was.

bfalls
09-24-2012, 06:32 AM
Just after the Challanger explosion I went on a business trip to Washington DC. After landing at Dulles Airport, the pilot made an announcement that Discovery was on loan to the Smithsonian and was currently on the tarmac. We taxied by it on our way to the terminal. Although is was very cool to see the Shuttle that close, the mood onboard was very somber. A moment I won't soon forget. I had a co-worker with me who took pictures. He was supposed to give me a copy, but never did.

GMichael
09-24-2012, 08:28 AM
Just after the Challanger explosion I went on a business trip to Washington DC. After landing at Dulles Airport, the pilot made an announcement that Discovery was on loan to the Smithsonian and was currently on the tarmac. We taxied by it on our way to the terminal. Although is was very cool to see the Shuttle that close, the mood onboard was very somber. A moment I won't soon forget. I had a co-worker with me who took pictures. He was supposed to give me a copy, but never did.

On a side note. About a month after the Challenger explosion, I was not very politically correct when made a joke about it to a supplier I was on the phone with. The worst part was that the supplier was Morton Thiokol. The lady there was not amused in the least!
I've learned my lesson.