My favorite place to visit when I was 4 years old was the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, especially the Hall of Dinosaurs. Following that, I was allowed to watch Allen Shepherd launch into space when I was in first grade in Butte, Montana. We got to go to the third grade classroom to see it on a specially rigged television connection. I watched every space launch and followed the astronaut's adventures up to the shuttle launches. I followed the robotic missions to the moon and Mars. My mother took a geology course and I got to go along. We ... more »
My love affair with space begun by falling in love with Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. I was enthralled with these shows, so I begun to read and research more about space and space travel and it made space that much more real for me.
When I was 10 I was in 7th grade in San Diego. Schools were overcrowded - at my school, Junior High was mornings, and High School was in afternoons - so I had all my afternoons free. Both my parents worked, and there were no other kids around where I lived. Trying to find a way to spend afternoons, I found the school library, and the first book I tried was Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein. I was captivated for life - Asimov, Bradbury, LeGuin, Clarke, Crichton, and so many others! The one real regret I have (I'm 72 now) ... more »
Our Dad worked at Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio and took us to the annual air show. He taught us to always look up and thrill in the exploration of the skies. As the bug took hold of both my brother and I we realized that we needed more so we looked into buying a telescope for our back yard. The cost of a telescope was too much for a couple of poor young boys, but the price of some components was not too bad.
With my brother, Nick as the lead, we spent many hours in the ... more »
Back in college I was discussion the Civil war with a friend and amidst our "lets admire how much of history we've forgotten" talks the aurora over the battle of Fredericksburg came up. This was mentioned because we were in Florida and the easter egg of the conversation was "The aurora can be seen in the the gulf states".
Just like that, I had my wonder wall. Can I see the aurora here? When will it be strongest? Where is it strongest? And that rabbit hole ran DEEP. Quickly I found out about solar magnetic activity cycle's and when the next ... more »
I fell in love with the universe/space travelling after seeing the first episode of Star Trek as a very small child. It was only the joy of space research. Later, the idea that there really is life out there. And as I grew older, and really understood the visions of Gene Roddenberry, I became a real "space freak". I firmly believe in a better world and in space research. I believe that "Star Trek" and Gene's dreams will one day become a reality.
I was born in 1950, before computers, before satellited, and before the Moon landing. The science fiction magazines left around my home had wonderful pictures of other worlds. My imagination took flight. It landed on the covers of Scientific American and I discovered that other worlds DO exist: Mars is real, so is Jupiter, Saturn, Venus. And they are very different from fiction. I finagled a small telescope and took out every book I could from the library. My world expanded lightyears beyond any classroom. The deal was clinched when I first saw the Pleiades rising. Such beauty! I am ... more »
I began watching television shows like Through The Wormhole, and was fascinated by our studies of black holes and what happens to matter and light when it reaches and crosses the event horizon. After Through the Wormhole, I began my quest to quench my thirst for knowledge. After discovering Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Cosmos, I went back to watch the originals and began my study of Carl Sagan's work. Since then, I simply can't get enough.
Just over a year later, I am taking classes on black holes from UCLA, I am the proud owner of a ... more »
My love and fascination with space began with a children's book, The Golden Book of Astronomy: A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space, which I received around age 6 or 7. What I remember most is the feeling of the impact of the images, not only of the planets and moons, but also of the ancient peoples who revered the myths they built around the little points of light in the sky. I wanted to know more about what was really "out there".
While I have never become an astronomer, an astronaut, or even worked with a company involved in ... more »
My space story begins on February 20, 1962. Most of you will recognize the date. I was in the fourth grade. Our class had watched the progress of John Glenn's flight during the school day. When school was out, we were supposed to have a Cub Scout meeting, but that didn't happen. Instead, we all gathered around my friend's little black-and-white TV in his basement.
We knew that there was a possible malfunction. Had the heat shield inadvertently deployed? Would John burn up as the capsule re-entered the earth's atmosphere? No one knew, not even John, as it turned out. So ... more »