The View of Space from Detroit
December 10, 2012
I can recall three inspirations for my interest in space. The first involved the articles in Life magazine on the Mercury astronauts. As a ten year old I devoured the stories about them, and had their names memorized as I waited for each to take his turn in space travel. The second involved a non-human: Enos the space chimp. My ninth grade science class watched the launch of his orbital mission on our TV instead of our regularly scheduled TV science period. Finally, I can remember watching the Echo balloon satellite pass overhead at the announced time. All our neighbors were out on the sidewalk "gawking" and asking the most ridiculous questions. I understood the orbital dynamics of it all, and felt pretty smug. I still have my newspaper clippings scrapbook running from just before Alan Shepard's Mercury Redstone flight through all the Mercury and Gemini flights.
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.