January 11, 2016
While still in Vietnam, at the end of my tour, my “stateside” home and my loved ones had become a faded dream. But then I was home again and putting the war behind me. I arrived home early in July of 1969, and soon after I watched as we landed on the moon. Vietnam was another world, bearing no resemblance to the Midwest of the United States. And so it seemed fitting that we were traveling to another world in actuality.
In the following years we moved from amazing flights to the moon to the space shuttle program. I had returned to school, to college this time, and I took a job working in my field just when the first space shuttles were launched. Once again I was glued to the TV, watching human kind doing amazing things. I was so grateful to be home and to see it all happening.
Later on came the Hubble Space Telescope, and soon we all went on brave new adventures together. The combination of the space telescope and the shuttle was the greatest show on earth, and I was fascinated. And now we’re moving in new directions again, doing things like discovering planets orbiting other stars. Soon we’ll find life out there, and the cosmic viewpoint will be enhanced once again, and I hope that this too will “change the world.”
On my wall in my office I have an image of the Earth from space, and below it I wrote, “If we can rise far above the Earth, and turn to look back upon the place of our origin and birth, then each of us must know, that there is no limit to our own potential.”
I support the space program and NASA, for the innovation, and the economic benefit, and the adventure. I hope we will continue to be a more literate and knowledgeable people, and thereby further all our interests, and force our “leaders” to be accountable.
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.