I am a child of the space race, of Gemini and Apollo. I was a little too young to really remember Mercury but I do recall the first seven astronauts. The early space flights ignited my imagination. If they were launching, and it wasn't during school hours, we watched it eagerly. The Eagle landed on the moon when I was at summer camp and we were not allowed to see it on to available TV, but there were no counselors around. They were all watching it or listening to it on the radio. Not that I am bitter. Much. My favourite travel memory was watching a shuttle launch from the shores at Cocoa and watching that brilliant stream of light fly till it was just a speck in the sky. Brian and I did not have to speak to know what each of us was thinking that day. We were awestruck and space struck by the dreams of our generation.
There is part of me that has always felt mankind's perfect metaphor for who we could be was landing on the moon. And the low points were the disasters that befell the shuttles. I felt a little lost after that.
Last year Chris Hadfield's tour de force commanding of the airwaves captured my heart and I think I have been waiting since. Brian would have really enjoyed that.
Joel's twitter feed, where you can feel the excitement of the room,
I could go on, but there will be more over the next while as New Horizons downloads its pictures.
Meanwhile, I feel like a kid waiting to open presents at Christmas. I can't sit still, and I feel all jumpy and excited. Human kind, with the skills of dreamers and talented engineers and planetary scientists and all the people who directly supported them, boldly went where no human has gone before. And they took us with them.
This could be the beginning of a new metaphor for what we are capable of.
I need to celebrate. This calls for ice cream. With a dash of acidophilus on the side.