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To Boldly Go…

July 8, 2011

I watched Atlantis lift off live today, on NASA TV.

I almost missed it; almost forgot.  Almost forgot that I wanted to watch this momentous, historic moment when the last Space Shuttle slips its earthly coil and reaches far for the heavens, for that last, great frontier.  I am grateful to my Dear Wife for sending me that link, with only moments to spare.

Later in the day, I read this memoire of Atlantis by author Cat Valente.  It is filled with poignancy and truth.

A part of my heart dies, today, with the ending of the Space Shuttle mission.  It’s a part that sometimes I forget is there.  But it’s always been there, beating away, quietly.

Like countless other little boys, I was going to be an Astronaut someday.  I was going to go to Space, or the Moon, or Mars, or somewhere.  He’s still there, the little boy who’s going to be an Astronaut someday.  He still hopes that one day he’ll grow up, and he’ll find he’s an Astronaut, and he’ll see the stars, and reach out and touch them.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2011 12:22 am

    “He’s still there, the little boy who’s going to be an Astronaut someday. He still hopes that one day he’ll grow up, and he’ll find he’s an Astronaut, and he’ll see the stars, and reach out and touch them.”

    This is so sweet and honest, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

    • July 10, 2011 11:04 pm

      I’m glad you liked it. Really, that’s how the end of this program – especially when they’ve yet to come up with a viable replacement program – feels to me. It’s like a part of my childhood, and by extension the whole of me, is being held ransom by an uncertain future. I know I’ll probably never make it to space, for real, either way – I don’t have the proverbial “right stuff”, so to speak, to ever succeed in an astronaut program, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford space tourism. But it is still a core dream of my childhood.

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