|Star Trail Facing Polaris (North Star) Photo Credit: Jim Devitt at 12 yrs old|
Sometimes we need a break. We need to stop watching TV, stop surfing the internet, stop writing, and stop shopping online. Tonight, do that. Go outside and look up at the universe.
When was the last time you looked up at the night sky?
I've always been fascinated with space exploration and the universe. I grew up surrounded by the space program and have always had my eyes toward the stars. Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter space and did so before I entered the world. I also missed the first US Astronaut, Alan Shepard, and his fifteen-minute flight into space.
|Photo Credit: Jim Devitt|
Thirteen days before I was born, President John F. Kennedy challenged American's to send a man to the moon and back safely. Even though these events occurred before I was born, I have always had a passion about space. The early days of the Mercury-Redstone and Gemini programs are all just memories passed on by history lessons or from my Dad working with those programs.
It wasn't until the Apollo program that I can recall personal memories. We had long afternoons with family and friends, playing with Horseshoe Crabs on the shore of the Indian River waiting for the launch of the Saturn V. I remember watching in awe on television as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Back in those days, going to school in the shadow of Kennedy Space Center, the classroom lessons stopped as they rolled out TV's to watch an Apollo launch. I remember shouting with my classmates as we watched Apollo XII get
struck by lightning. I can remember like yesterday, the
final launch of the moon missions, Apollo XVII, a severely delayed launch that
turned night to day.
|Apollo 17 Emblem on a Postmarked Card|
I've had a telescope since I can remember, and believe it or not, I still have the same one today. I've seen planets, nebulae, comets and more through those lenses, and now I get to share that with my own five-year old son, using the same telescope that I used as a child. Truth be told, I would love a new and better telescope, but, there's something to be said for my old one. I have the original paperwork and Moon maps. Those things existed before humans ever touched the moon.
Nearly every night, I step out and look up at the universe. There's something healing and energizing about looking up to the heavens. Today, my family and I live back in the birthplace of space exploration, the Space Coast of Florida. The stars are magnificent at night. Take time, wherever you are, and look up at the night sky.
No matter what you do in life, life will be better if you take a few moments and look to the stars.