No Choice in the Matter
December 2, 2012
For those of us who grew up in Florida in the 1950s and 60s, it would have been hard not to take an interest in space. On May 5th, 1961, the students of Hogan Spring Glen Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida crowded into the school auditorium to watch Alan Shepard become the first American to go to space. All we had was one small black and white TV and probably most of us couldn't really see what was going on but we could hear and we all felt proud to be there sharing a great moment in our country's history. When John Glen made his trip on the Friendship 7, I remember my best friend and I and her family making up a song about it to the tune of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." When Colonel Glen goes into space, hurrah, hurrah. He'll orbit the earth in a rocket race, hurrah, hurrah. The Friendship 7 his ship will be. It's part of the Project Mercury. And we'll all be glad when Glen comes back to earth. We'll all be glad when Glen comes back to earth. Over the years, we saw many a rocket in the sky from whatever backyard was ours at the time. It never got old. I've only been to a few launches in person but I did get to go to the first shuttle launch and a few others after. It's just really amazing to me that things I never dreamed could be more than fiction came true in my lifetime. I really can't wait to see what's next.
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.