For some reason I never wanted to be an astronaut – as a child, it just never entered my consciousness. By the time I got interested in scifi in my mid-20s the gravity of being an astronaut was clear – it needed an incredible amount of brains, work, and passion. I was quite sure by then that I was a bit short of ‘the right stuff’.
The Kennedy Space Center and everything in it felt just like another theme park but with one glaring difference — none of it was make-believe. It was all very real which made it a bit jarring and the same time inspiring. Seeing a Moon Rover vehicle, an actual moon rock, real astronaut suits that have been in space, all of them were incredible to look at. It was also amazing to think that it took only 66 years from the time the Wright Brothers flew in Kitty Hawk to when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.
The first Apollo mission ended in disaster but after ten more attempts the U.S. finally was able to reach the big cheese in the sky. Apollo 13 (also a Tom Hanks film) was a near tragedy, but after they finally called it quits after Apollo 17, they’d amassed an amazing record and countless accomplishments that are now legend. Here’s hoping more people with the right stuff are given the chance to follow their dreams and to answer their otherworldly calling to that final frontier.