Sunday, December 9, 2012

One small step....

As a little girl in 1969, I sat awestruck in front of a tiny, black & white TV in the library of my primary school watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Today I walked up the same set of steps used by Armstrong and his crew before they were strapped in to the command module of the Apollo 11. Once again, I was awestruck.

The Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral is fantastic. We roamed through the 'rocket garden', aptly named because it houses the Redstone, Atlas and Titan rockets that first put astronauts into space and the capsules of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. We watched an Imax movie about the Hubble telescope maintenance, we took part in a shuttle simulation and we toured the launch pad area where so many famous missions have started.

It's hard to describe how impressive all this space stuff is. I thought that perhaps Geoff and my memories of space glory and space tragedy probably made the experience more profound but Taine was also captivated by the whole place, in fact on the way out he decided that today was right up there in his lifetime 'best days'!

When you see some of the equipment and technology they were working with back in the 60s it's almost impossible to believe that people willingly climbed into those little modules, to be set on top of giant rockets and catapulted into space with the power of a nuclear missile. Harder still to believe that most of them made it back to Earth again. Maybe the whole thing is, indeed , a conspiracy!

When you see the pictures transmitted back from Hubble, of galaxies within galaxies, our little world becomes very small and insignificant but at the same time so beautiful and unique that it's all just a bit overwhelming.

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