John Glenn has died (geez it has been such a bad year for celebrity deaths!!), and it made me think about space and astronauts.
Originally a US marine, he was chosen by NASA for their astronaut programme and he had the enviable pleasure of being the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962. When he left the services, he went into politics, becoming a senator. He got the chance to return to space in 1998 in his late 70’s (hope I am that active in my 70’s!). This made him the oldest astronaut so far.
He passed on the 8th December at the grand old age of 95, after a long decline in his health.
As children we all looked to the skies and spied the stars and the moon, but very few people have actually been out there to see them. NASA is the big name that we all know in relation to space travel, but the US government are said to be reducing the NASA budget even further, restricting future space travel.
Over the past few years there have been private companies making waves about planes that could carry civilians into space (I won’t say anyone as I can only imagine it will be a costly journey). Prestwick Airport, near to where I live, has been bidding to be a ‘space port’ for these trips. It will be an amazing boost for the area if this happens.
I think it sounds like an extremely interesting trip, up into space, though I get panic attacks going up a ladder so going to that height might not be a good idea for me!!
I imagine it would quite take your breath away to look back down on the earth from space. I have seen it in pictures and films and it is always portrayed as very beautiful. Some people must think of it as an item on their bucket list, and space tourism could be very popular, I can understand that. But personally, I will keep my feet on the earth looking up at the stars and admiring them. Until the day that I gain my wings and fly up to the heavens to play my harp 😉