Oh goodness me. It's been an emotional day. Today is the first anniversary of the launch of the space shuttle Columbia in 1981 since the retirement of the program last year. This is a launch that was two years after I entered the world and about one year before I declared that I would one day be an astronaut.
Thankfully, I was able to bade her goodbye on her final roar into space, achieving near peace and closure despite knowing the chance to ride aboard her flight deck had been buried. Deep. There was no way we were bringing her out of retirement. Her days had been numbered for a while and her fate sealed by the hands of our nation. Selfish-I know but that is the only moment in my life where I wished to be the most powerful person in the world. After ridding the planet of bad, I would have kept the Shuttle alive until my moment came. And if I had such power, I would have ensured a spot for me in the upcoming ASCAN (astronaut candidate) class. I mean-I already rid the world of all bad-I think getting to go into space is the least I could do for myself.
So while I know the world of NASA is trying to focus the attention on our other programs (trust me-I have worked for the ISS for ten years and spent the better part it of trying to get the attention it so rightly deserves as we worked in the shadow of the Shuttle), I will never forget what created the dream. The thrill. Whose sight causes me so much pain because I have yet to achieve that goal in life. Yet conjures in me so much joy that it's nearly impossible to convey in words. It's palpable if you were in my head. Or my heart for that matter. It's a notion I've embraced and certainly defined me to friends and family. So I won't pass up this chance to say Happy Anniversary STS. Thank you for the inspiration. The definition of passion. And most importantly for the young-girl-still-alive-in-me's hope. I aim to never become so jaded by rejection that I don't try to fly aboard your successor.