Saturday, August 9, 2008

When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

Having seen this 6 hour special twice now, I have a new appreciation and understanding of this beautiful planet we call home: Earth. From the earliest Mercury missions, to recent scientific developments that will enhance our understanding of life as we know it, the Discovery Channel (creators of the popular series Planet Earth) takes an in-depth look at our love-affair with space. On May 25, 1961 President John F. Kennedy issued the challenge to send a man to the moon (and by the end of the decade no less). Eight years later, after thousands of simulations, technological advances, and several test runs, his miraculous dream was realized.

I was absolutely riveted to the television as I watched commentary from former astronauts, mission leaders, those who worked in flight control, and even a few anxious wives who were left at home, as they shared their experiences with the space program. It was evident there was a lot of attention to detail (with an especially impressive score and hours of never-before-seen footage). Tears welled in my eyes as I saw the beautiful "Earth rise" (pictured above) from the first flight around the moon, to the explosions of Challenger and then Columbia. I cheered with each successive triumph. But most of all, I loved the happiness and peace I felt, as I watched our former rivals in the "space race", who are now our allies in creating the first international space station.

It gives me hope for the future of life on this planet. I hope you have the opportunity to watch the Discovery Channel's latest miniseries: When We Left Earth. Happy viewing!


Gardner Family said...

I've never seen this. But I have a deep love for astronomy and space. Back in San Diego, I worked at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center. I got to dress up in a blue mission commander outift and simulate a flight take off and work in mission control and the space station with 5th graders. It was the greatest.

Just about a month ago, I went outside to take the trash out. I just stopped and stared at the moon. It looked like it was sitting in my front yard. So amazing.

And then a few weeks ago on The Today show they had aired a special on the man who runs the company Virgin who released what the space jet looks like that will take civilians to the moon for something like $250,000 starting 2010.

We have come so far. It's amazing.

Ann Marie said...

It sounds like a cool show.

While we were camping, someone had a GPS thing, and was searching out planets and stars and I missed your Dad so much. We all need to have some kind of over-night reunion again like Timplodge so your Dad can bring his big Telescope up. I learned and saw so many cool things from your Dad.

Marie said...

I'm so sorry I missed it! I am fascinated with space . . . and one of my favorite movies is Apollo 13, which I love for so many reasons, including seeing how hard so many people worked to not only get them into space but also (and especially) to get them home.

Meg, I love how much you love the world around us. Thanks for reminding me how cool the earth is!