Since Mar 8, 2002
"Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon ... must inevitably come to pass." Paul Meyer
Manned Spaceflight - a Lifelong Passion
My earliest memories as a child involve spaceflight. My father woke me late one October night in 1957, bundled me up and brought me out to our front porch. He explained that some people in a far-off land had launched the very first satellite, and it was circling the globe very high up in space.
We sat and gazed up into the dark, starry night looking for what seemed to be a very long time...until at last we saw a faint light moving.
"There it is, honey!" my father whispered. "There's Sputnik!"
We watched it float across the sky until we could no longer find it in the darkness. Even as young as I was, I was amazed, entranced, and forever captivated.
There was great excitement when the U.S. launched it's first satellite, Explorer I, on January 31, 1958. However, Yuri Gagarin's April 12, 1961 mission as the first (recorded) human astronaut left many Americans reeling in disbelief and anger. Nevertheless, after many failures and delays, the United States sent Alan Shepard into space on May 5, 1961 aboard Freedom 7...and I fell in love for the first time at the tender age of 5.
During the next months and years, we became acquainted with Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, and Gordo Cooper as they blazed trails into outer space. Each in turn became a hero in the eyes of all Americans, and especially to one very young girl.
To each of these men who braved the cold, dark and lonely frontier of solitary spaceflight, I would like to express my eternal gratitude for allowing themselves to be deified by the American public...and for inspiring me to always "push the outside of the envelope". Thanks, fellas.