Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

March 11, 2010

My First Trip Into Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

After the Russians launched Sputnik 1 in 1957 as the first satellite to orbit the earth, the space race began.  When the United States was eager to be the first to send a man into space, the Russians again won the  race.  All stops were pulled, and ready or not, the United States began catching up by sending more men into space in closer periods of time.

I believe every young man dreamed of being sent into space, even with the fear of the landing that had not yet been fully engineered with the safety desired.  No one really feared the space ride or being placed in orbit around the earth. Volunteers were many.  To be chosen was such an honor and every man excitedly accepted the opportunity, even at the risk of life.

I can never forget my first space ride and the orbit around the earth.  I had so looked forward to it and there was nothing that could dampen my enthusiasm and excitement.  As I crawled into my seat, I cannot tell you about any fear.  The excitement and anticipation were overwhelming everything else.  As I buckled in, the instructions began to come from the control center.  I am not sure all that I heard, until the countdown began.  I anticipated rumblings and shakings and noise.  Then came the words I was listening for from the control center, “We have lift-off.”

I know I swallowed hard.  There was more shaking and noise than I had expected.  But I knew I was safe.  No reason for fear.  They would not have allowed me this experience if it was unsafe.  It seemed the air in the capsule changed.  The pressure was different.  There was a sense of floating.  And then . . . through that window . . . it was unbelievable!  The earth looked so small.  It was so different from views I had seen from  an airplane.  And to see the continents . . . well, you can tell I have difficulty in describing it.  I have told the story many times, but it is impossible to tell the feelings and truly describe the sights.  As the capsule rolled, there was a spectacular glimpse of the moon.  So different from seeing it from the ground.  The time passed so quickly, and then the instructions came for preparing for the landing.  More noise and shaking, but an excitement to talk about the experience drowned out all the fears and jolts as the capsule touched down.

The coming back was really uneventful.  And the end was so blah compared to the  beginning.  I can never forget this experience.  It will always be part of my life.  I have not been into space since, and I know that  at my age, I will probably never have that experience again.  But I have the memories . . .

As I experienced them at Disneyland, California, 1958!


“However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:8)



1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Anonymous — March 11, 2010 @ 12:26 pm | Reply

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