Monday, July 20, 2009

Space: Still the Final Frontier

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. Armstrong and Aldrin landed the Eagle on the Sea of Tranquility as Collins orbited above, and history was made. You know this already. The intrawebs are geeking out on Apollo nostalgia and is seems that ever television network and cable channel is trying to out-moon the others with their programming. I see this as a good thing.

I've never lived in a world where humans hadn't set foot on the moon. The Wife was entirely too gleeful in point out this morning that my 40th is fast approaching as well. So be it. My childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut fell by the wayside during my high school years once I was about to understand the practical improbability of such a career path (astronauts have to be good at math, for starters, and I'm double-plus-ungood when it comes to numbers) so I've contented myself with being an active fan of the space program and sometime science fiction author. I probably could've done better, but all in all it's not a bad deal.

Oh, happy 33rd anniversary of the Viking 1 Mars landing.

I met Buzz Aldrin once. Early in our marriage, The Wife and I spent a weekend in Galveston and stopped off at the recently-opened "Space Center Houston" on the way. In the gift shop, quite unexpectedly, we came across Aldrin signing copies of his new SF book, Encounter with Tiber. I had several non-fiction books by Aldrin at home, and was kicking myself for not bringing them. But I bought Tiber and had him sign it, simply so The Wife could take my picture with him. I have to admit that I've never gotten very excited with the various authors, actors and other celebrities I've met in my life, but I was in full-on geek-out mode with Aldrin. Astronauts do that to me.

I live in the same town as former Apollo astronaut Charlie Duke. I've driven by his house many times. Were he a writer, I'd have stopped to introduce myself long ago. As it is, I'm far too intimidated. I've never met the man. I hope to, someday, but I don't think I'll ever be able to do it on my own. Rock stars, indeed.

Happy 40th.

Now Playing: Sheryl Crow C'mon C'mon

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