Friday, September 14, 2007

Space City

Having grown up in this NASA community, all things space were just a way of life to me. My daddy worked at Johnson Space Center for over 41 years - he just retired at the end of 2006. I attended the splash-down party for Apollo 11 in-utero (I was born less than 3 months later). My first grade teacher was an astronaut's wife. When Bubba and I were kids Dad used to take us to work with him sometimes. We have seen the parts of NASA that you don't see on the public tour - we've been in the shuttle simulator and seen where the astronauts train. We were never allowed in Mission Control, but Dad has been there several times. Even today Hubby and I know a few astronauts personally. They are the people we go to church with, have lunch with, and see at the grocery store. Their triumphs are our triumphs and their tragedies our tragedies. I can't even begin to explain how the Challenger and Columbia disasters rocked this community of ours. I had friends who lost parents in Challenger, other friends who dropped out of astronaut training after Columbia. You never get over those things.

But today Daughter got to experience one of the perks of living in this NASA area. In an assembly today at school, the students got to speak to one of the astronauts onboard the International Space Station (he has a kid at that school). It was a live feed and the students got to ask questions, such as "What do you do to exercise?" and "How does living in space affect your hair and fingernail growth?" Daughter was impressed with how clear it was - just like talking on the phone, yet this guy is orbiting the earth 220 miles above the ground!

I think Neil Armstrong said it best: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

And we continue to leap.

7 comments:

D... said...

That really was a cool experience for them. R came home all excited about it too. Had to call her G, the astronaut/space groupie, to tell her all about it.

cjh said...

YEA! It's true. I've been in this community a much shorter time than you, but I love it. NASA is one of the reasons why.

Patois said...

Wow, I'm so jealous of you! What a privilege. She'll not forget that, ever.

Jerri said...

That is too neat. My best friend in high school received his acceptance (or appointment as it is called) to the Air Force Academy the day of the Challenger disaster. He didn't go...

Stacey said...

I had no idea! That's very cool indeed. All of it! (and how does a fingernail grow in space? and could I lose weight faster if I exercised in space?)

I likes your spirit too, B/S--I don't know how I blogged without you! xo

Skittles said...

I grew up almost within spitting distance of Cape Canaveral as it was called back then. We'd always see the launches and stages breaking off.

How terribly exciting for your daughter!

StaceyG said...

What a treat!! I have a friend that recently got to ride the "vomit comet" for work. :P