What sparked my passion for space? That's a no-brainer; I grew up with the Space Age, and especially Apollo! I was born a few months after Gagarin's flight; I was just short of 8 years old at the time of Apollo 11, and already hooked on the space programme. The earliest mission which I remember knowing about as it happened was Apollo 8, when I was 7 - but before Apollo ended, I was reading books about the history of spaceflight, from Sputnik 1 onwards, and could name the crew of every manned mission, both American and Russian. The time in which I grew up sparked a lifelong passion for spaceflight, and astronomy together with it. In my country, any gathering of astronomers is likely to contain a disproportionate number of people of around my age. In recent years, I've had the great honour and privilege of meeting four of the Apollo astronauts - Charlie Duke, Alan Bean, Fred Haise and Dick Gordon; I've also visited the museum of the Energia Corporation near Moscow, and seen the actual capsule in which Gagarin flew! Neil Haggath B.Sc. FRAS www.spaceandsanity.com
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