The recent successful mission to Mars by the InSight landing craft got my attention as I always considered myself a wannabe rocket scientist. Somewhere along the line, my career got “sidetracked" into automotive engineering. Too late now to do anything about it except appreciate events like the mission to Mars and future space explorations.
It was only natural while growing up in the 50’s & 60’s to be interested in outer space, as reports of unidentified flying objects (UFO’s) were common place back in those days. Flying saucers from Mars carrying little green men occupied the imagination of youngsters like me.
TV shows like the Twilight Zone, Star Trek and My Favorite Martian just reinforced the illusion. Notice the vintage TV is unplugged!
Comic books back in those days also really fed the imagination.
Over the years, the reality of modern science fiction movies just bolstered my fascination even more. My favorites were 2001 Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Extra Terrestrial and The Martian.
Flying saucers were intriguing to me as well. I tried to imagine how they flew, with no wing or rocket engine. Since they weren’t (supposedly) real, any means of imaginary flight and propulsion could be visualized in my mind’s eye..
But the absolute culmination of my rocket science passion occurred during the moon landing in1969, especially with Wapak native Neil Armstrong taking that first “giant leap for mankind".
Regarding Neil Armstrong, even though the following story originated with Buddy Hackett, not Neil Armstrong, I’ll share it anyway:
When Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” statement, but followed it by an enigmatic remark “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.” Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.
Over the years, many people had questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky” statement meant. 26 years later, following a speech, a reporter again brought up the question to Armstrong. He finally responded. It seems that Mr. Gorsky had died and so Armstrong felt he could finally answer the question. When Neil was a kid in Wapakoneta, he was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of their neighbors’ bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, Neil heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Sex you want? You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”
Consider this just another story confirming:
Maybe that will be the topic for next week’s blog, but my wife should write it!
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