Personally, I was never one to play astronaut. Sure, I loved learning about astronomy, the stars, and the constollations - but, I wanted to stay on earth rather then venture out into the galaxies above. Not to say it didn't fascinate me, I adored watching the 1999 Disney movie: Zenon. But i'd say my love for the milky way stopped there, the thought of aliens scared me.
Not to say it doesn't sadden me to see the Space Age go, I know that it's inevitable with budget cuts. Plus, we really haven't been adding much to our data pool. As for alien life, if it's really that advanced maybe it will find us first or make itself known. Maybe it already has and the government is keeping it a secret, or maybe we're not supposed to know.
As many of you know, today in Cape Canaveral, Florida at the Kennedy Space Center (I went there when I was little, it's really cool), NASA had it's last launch with the space shuttle, Atlantis.
Atlantis, a four-person crew shuttle, began it's 12 day mission to the International Space Station. One million people viewed the spaceship on viewing sites along Florida as it took off at 11:26 AM.
Today marks the end of the space age. But maybe it's not the end, maybe it's a new beginning of new exploration.
After all the land on earth was discovered and conquered on earth, many thought that space was the final frontier. But with space's frontier closing, leaving us to know just as little bit about it's complexities as ever, we're left without wonder. Sure, there are trillions of questions that circle our minds about our existence. But our curiosities about life on other planets is put on lay away.
Is this the end of an era? Will we explore space once again? What will our new fixation be?
If you're interested in reading fiction about space, check out one of my favorite books The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (1950). Initially I read the novel for school, and I did not think I would like it one bit. I generally hate all the books we read at school. But instead, I ended up adoring each chapter, soaking in the literacy and science fiction world.
The story links together different science fiction vignettes about the exploration of mars, and how men ends up conquering the planet - but killing all life. "The earthman conquers mars... and then is conquered by it." It's a great book, and whether or not you like Mars, it's beautifully written and truly captivating. Given you like some element of science fiction.