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Thread: Generation Gap

  1. #1

    Generation Gap

    I was waiting for some one to mention the passing of Wally Schirra, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, given the love of space and sci-fi among the members here.

    I guess all you young 'ns here missed it. Schirra flew in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. He later became an on-air consultant with Walter Cronkite on CBS commentating on the moon missions. The Cronkite/Schirra team was fantastic! Schirra provided wonderful insight in plain language on the missions. I was always glued to the TV for every mission (Mercury and Gemini) and looked forward to Schirra's assistance to demystifying the technology which allowed us to go to the moon.

    This was really exciting stuff and it's a shame most of you were too young to experience the moon missions first hand (I was in my early teens). This wasn't like watching some B sci-fi movie with a guy in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet on his head running around the rocks in Chatsworth, CA. This was the real deal! Exciting and dangerous.

    Schirra brought it home in easy terms. He was simply the best.

    You will be missed, Wally. Thank you for your service to us all.
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!

  2. #2
    wrong side of the atlantic for me. we have this instead...

    50 years of it. I'll probably be as wistful as you are Ti7 when Patrick shuffles off this mortal coil.

  3. #3
    I noticed, and i'm just 30, but often don't post on things of life and death. The problem is that he's not Alan Shephard or John Glenn or Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin. When those people die, the nation will take notice.

    While this man was definitely a pioneer and some one who could be considered a role model (they were much more engineers and physicists than test pilots) on the aspects of physical fitness, mental acuity, and spirit, by not being "first", this society will downplay their contributions.
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  4. #4
    It would have been amazing to be alive for that stuff - the only taste of the real stress those men were under I've experienced was the Tom Hanks movie.... which was pretty darned good.

    It's too bad he passed, but what a legacy to have left behind.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MR. DADDYPANTS View Post
    wrong side of the atlantic for me. we have this instead...

    50 years of it. I'll probably be as wistful as you are Ti7 when Patrick shuffles off this mortal coil.

    This is exactly what I'm talking about. Schirra was my security blanket for space missions. I grew up with him (and viewed him as a hero for his accompishments as well as his teaching abilities) and shared the experience of space flight through him. That's why I'm boo-boo kitty over his passing.
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!

  6. #6
    The only space missions that I was old enough to remember were the shuttle missions and Voyager going by Jupiter and Saturn. I meant to get up in the morning to watch the first shuttle launch, but I didn't get up in time to see it live. I subscribed to a kids astronomy magazine called Odyssey for a few years, but I wasn't too obsessed with it.

    I definitely was familiar with Schirra's name from learning about some of those early space missions. I noticed the story in a few places when he passed away. My oldest brother might have more of those memories, as he is closer to your age TeeEye. I recall him saying he watched a lot of those missions on TV back in the 60's. I think he had some models of some of those Mercury and Saturn rockets, but I think they got ruined. If I remember correctly, I think he said my mom did something to them after he did something bad.

  7. #7
    The early space missions were electrifying to witness and experience first hand. The wonder of the complexity of actually sending someone up there was mind boggling. Experiencing the highs and lows (i.e. Apollo 11 and Apollo 1 fire/Apollo 13) of the the programs were unforgetable.

    I'm hopeful that the same attitute of wonder and excitement is captured by the next generation of space observers as it was for me. It would be a shame if the world has become blasé towards the achievements of the past, and of those to come in the future.
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!


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