December 10, 2012
It probably started when I was 13 and a friend introduced me to IF magazine. Fortunately, it was one of the better magazines of that sort, and I have been hooked ever since. The stories, of course, made the mere idea of traveling in space almost normal. At about the same time (perhaps as a reaction?) my father introduced me to the books of George Gamow. I can specifically remember reading "One, Two, Three, Infinity" and "The Birth and Death of the Sun". These books started my interest in cosmology.
But perhaps the one event that most made the idea real was watching Armstrong set foot on the Moon. I believe I still have the photos I made of the television screen. We had visitors, young cousins, at the time, and twenty or thirty years later, one of them said he remembered watching that and my photographing of it. So I may have promoted his interest as well, not that I planned it that way...
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.