Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

The launch of Freedom 7

On 05 May 1961 Alan Shepard went for ride downrange in the Atlantic ocean as the very first United States Astronaut. I can very much remember that whatever Indiana state educational unit operated it, had their aircraft up that day so that we all could watch in school.

One of those days when the world stopped to watch what America had accomplished. There was so much more glory to come as the world watched: The incredible accomplishments and the tragedies, right there in the store window on live TV for the world to watch in real time. We never hid manned spaceflight away in Siberia, well till now, that is.

The Apollo 1 crew Grissom, White and Chaffee

I suspect a lot of us remember the horror of the fire in the capsule of Apollo 1 which killed the primary crew and led to a change in the capsule atmosphere.

And then of course there is this:

This is Neil Armstrong on the moon on 20 July 1969, while the entire world stopped to watch in awe and amazement. To me this is possibly the most momentous moment in human history, the first time a human being set foot on another world, well moon at least.

From there we went on to the Space Shuttle.

The first orbiter "Enterprise" named for the Starship which was named for the USS Enterprise of WW II and is one of one of the most famous of USN ship names.

We lost a couple of these and their crews and again we cried  altogether and mourned our lost heroes. The program was a huge success though; operating for thirty years, until today.

Endeavor lands this morning on it's final mission. All photos courtesy: NASA

Where do we go from here? I don’t know, perhaps it is time for private enterprise to take over the low and geosynchronous business. I do know I don’t like hitchhiking with the Russians, particularly at $65 million a pop.

Today however is a day to remember with gratitude and awe what NASA has done in the last 50 years. Thanks NASA. Oh and did you notice all those Purdue alumni in the pictures?


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

One Response to Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

  1. Pingback: Troy Shandell – sic transit gloria mundi « Henrytapper's Blog

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