Real Right Stuff

Yesterday I received an eMail from a company called (named?) Huckberry to enroll in a contest whose first prize is primarily a ride in a “vomit comet” airplane to “Be An ASTRONAUT!”. [Link] Huckberry is a company that trades (preys?) on the individualism angst of their customers, mostly GEN Ys, by selling them ordinary things in a distancing frame,

I was a bit engaged by this contest. It brought back a flood of memory. Back when “We Seven” was published, I received a copy as a christmas present from a cousin. One of those name drawing things that organizations, groups, and extended families do to keep the nonsense and expense down. Evidently she thought that any boy – we were about that age – wanted to be an astronaut. I recall thinking what a horrible present it was to receive. But I read it anyway. I read any and every book in those days. Information deprivation; few books. Despite my parents being (sorta) readers.

I grew up in Huntsville. All of my primary and secondary schuling. Astronauts were a new thing and not uncommon in that town becoming a small city. NASA was in the news every night. They spent half their budget on publicity. 

And I was totally uninterested. My parents gave me a “jumpsuit” and a “space helmet” one other christmas. I wanted a chemistry set.

I can express my attitude. Consider John Glen. Trains for years. Sits in a rocket. Goes to orbit. Goes around the planet three (?) times. Lands.

Besides space travel is SLOW. How many days did it take to fly (?) to Luna? Three? 

This is not to say that I think manned space exploration and travel isn’t important. Eventually Tellus will get hit by a big space rock and we’ll go the way of the dinosaurs. And I have little desire to be a bird. Not sure if I care about my descendants that much but then this isn’t exactly free will. But until we get some propulsion other than rockets, and speeds at least two-nines of light, we’re just futzing about. 

Needless to say I didn’t enroll. Doing stuff is more fun than being an astronaut. Even a pretend one.