Tuesday, January 01, 2013


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration came into being during my lifetime.  Now after many decades their mission has significantly changed.   NASA's memory book for 2012 becomes especially meaningful as we begin the new year of 2013.  Future manned space flight is evolving into the commercial realm while the future of scientific space exploration will have NASA focusing on unmanned flights from our shores.

My interest in the possibilities of space exploration began as a young woman with NASA's forerunner, Project Vanguard, which initiated unmanned space flights.  The potential space travel  prospects became much more real and personal to me when a family member became involved in that Project, eventually manning the Quito, Ecuador, S.A. tracking station, one of several strategically placed around the world. 

Subsequent years NASA formed, then developed manned space flight.   The nation's interest increased as did mine.  I was especially attracted by the fact that two prominent astronauts, John Glenn, later Neil Armstrong, were from my then home state of Ohio -- communities nearby my own.  I remember well the tension, anxiety for their safety and the excitement viewing all televised space launches -- then astronauts returning  in capsules to the ocean initially, eventually in shuttles to earth.

There were tragic losses of astronauts lives reminding us of the dangers associated with travel into this new space frontier.   Our astronauts have been daring courageous explorers supported by many vital capable technical scientists whose names with which we have little familiarity.  Unlike our nations early explorers who could venture across our unknown lands relatively independently, space exploration success depends on teams of  highly trained knowledgeable individuals able to work together as a unit  dedicated to a unified goal.   

Many years later in 2012 the final space shuttle, Endeavour, has been retired with much nostalgia and fanfare to Southern California.  We've been privileged to live in exciting times that future generations will learn about as history.   I look forward with great curiosity to the future, as 2013 begins. 

Happy New Year wishes to you !



  1. I, too, look forward to 2013. Your memories of the Nasa program and it's forerunner are quite poignant. I lived through it all too and am womdering how it will be to see space travel in the private sector.
    Hope to hear lots from you in the coming year and thanks for being part of my blog family.

  2. Happy new year. This is one of those years for me as i was born in 1943; so every year that ends in a 3 means start of a new decade. This my 70th year when October rolls around. To me that's kind of exciting.

  3. I am so glad to live this long, Joared, what a privilege!! And to reflect on the glorious days of space travel. Our treasure has been thrown away on foreign wars and only the dead to remind us.
    Sorry, just a bit gloomy today. Canada is no better.
    And a wonderful new year to you!!!

  4. Best of all New Years to you, Joared!

  5. NASA has, as many large organizations seem to do, become bloated by taking on too many projects/programs. Too many organizations think that it is their job to grow rather than that their job is to concentrate on doing one task/program excellently. Of course, that said, I really enjoy the photos that they put out!!!
    Cop Car

  6. Most interesting post, Joared! Hats off to you for entering this unique field. And for keeping up with it (and keeping your readers up, too). We're supposedly in a new era starting this year--the age of cooperation? (mild chuckling)....what do you think this means??

  7. So much has happened in the last hundred years – I wonder what it will be like in 100 years? Will people live on other planets? Or will pollution and overpopulation terminate everything?

  8. I grew up in the era of the first astronauts and took great pride in Neil Armstrong and John Glenn -- both Ohioans. What exciting times those were!!! We were united without all the yammering and divisive nastiness we see today!!! Yeah, there were problems and disagreements but somehow they reached compromises. Or am I not remembering too well!!!!

    Thanks and Happy New Year, Jo!

  9. Dear Joared, thank you for writing this and inviting me to think back over my own life and how it's been touched by space travel. I'd never thought of that before. Nor had I realized that the first two astronauts were from Ohio. I hope all is well. You haven't blogged for some time and I was away from reading and commenting on blogs for nearly seven weeks, so I hope you, too, are just taking a hiatus and are not ill. Peace.