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IMG_1031In those days of anticipation, I was just a boy.  Yet, it was easy to get caught up in the NASA exploration of the stars, a sensational exclamation point of God’s mighty hand of creation.  Their adventures captured the imagination of every American and the citizens of the world.

Putting a man in space challenged the comic cartoon dreams of being Flash Gordon.  Describing the thrill and national pride of the stars and stripes on the sleeve of a space suit and following every bit of progress on nightly television news was a part of history that I lived.  Now, I could reminisce even further during my stroll through NASA’s space center.

In the dark exhibit of NASA’s march into space it would be easy to overlook the overhead displays.  Everything on ground level was so fascinating.  Your brain is left spinning with the historical notes, the audio recollection of astronauts and the life-size displays of real space capsules, rovers, space suits and space stations.

Yet, overhead, hanging from the star-studded ceiling is a Gemini space capsule.  The door is open to let the light add to the display.  There on a long tether is a tribute to one of the great benchmarks of space exploration.

An astronaut was out for a space walk.  In my youth when this historic exercise was about to occur, we all doubted that it could be real.  Our life in comic books said it was true but the human imagination has no limits but science makes us think twice.

Yet, right in that historic moment we all marveled.  We were glued to our television sets.  Our minds were memorizing the moments, listening intently to the commentators, trying to sense what it was like to walk in space.

Now, to be in the NASA Space Visitor’s center and to stand in that exhibit was deeply stirring.  The life-sized components including the capsule, space suit and tether makes the adventuresome spirit of any American swell with pride.  America did it!

photo credit: brucefong photography

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FullSizeRender-4NASA is a bright spot in Americana pride and joy.  It never ceases to make me marvel when I walk on to the campus of this collection of very bright and dedicated scientists, engineers and astronauts.  Something precious about life and exploration meet on these grounds and stir the soul of every visitor.

There in the parking lot, far too massive for an inside display is a Boeing 747 carry the Space Shuttle on its back.  Before you ever buy your entry ticket, you are drawn to this scene-stealing display.  Everyone stops by for a look, pictures and a moment of awe.

Inside the Visitor Center NASA has made a spectacular display of their historic achievements.  Every American is a  part of it.  The spirit of the USA pervades every part of the exploration of space.

One of the permanent displays shows off the Gemini program.  Tiny capsules that crammed two astronauts into tight quarters and orbited them around the earth hang from the ceiling.  But, the display is set in the stars of our galaxy.

Countless stars twinkle and serve as an amazing backdrop for this space flight.  It is full scale and the dark hall makes you feel like you are orbiting with these heroes of old.  How clever were these scientists, how skillful were these engineers and how courageous were these astronauts.

Our space exploration seems out-of-this-world to us.  Yet, it is only touching the edge of the vastness of space.  Can human technology thrust us even further?

When the Creator made the heavens He did a spectacular job.  Its vastness speaks of His amazing power and greatness.  We can only marvel and worship.

When Orion launches, maybe I will still be among the millions on earth that will marvel at what America can do.  The greatness of our nation may consume me like all who will be riveted to their televisions, computer monitors and live stream radios to cheer on each inch of movement toward the next great objective in space.

America’s best is exemplified with these achievements.  Putting a man or woman on Mars is next.  Maybe the Orion module will hang from the ceiling in another part of this great exhibit some day.

Perhaps my grandchildren will bring their children and friends to this special place, gaze and marvel together.  Space is the last frontier.  It calls all who have adventure in their souls.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

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