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.
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