50 years ago today John Glenn made history. He was not the first person in space, he was not even the second. He was not the first astronaut in the Mercury program, nor was he the second. But, he was the first American in outer space. In a flight that was just shy of five hours, he orbited the Earth three times, and became an instant hero.
Let us think back to what it means to have a hero that inspires us to reach all the way, to go into outer space. Especially now, in a day when the space shuttle program is over, and many people couldn't care less if we went back into space or not. I remember watching shuttle launches on the television, but I know that many of my peers didn't. I grew up in a house where flight and space were these magical, mythical things. Yes, we went to the moon, but where else could we go? How would we get there? How could we handle the impossible distances and time involved in making these trips?
On September 12, 1962 President Kennedy outlined his dream for us to go to the moon, by the end of the decade:
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.Let us live our lives inspired by the bravery of all of our astronauts, and make sure that we continue to do things that challenge us. Let's push the boundaries of what we know.
You never know, something incredible might just happen.