When I was a wee slip of a lad in the wilds of Central New Jersey, I wanted to grow up to be a baseball pitcher, a cowboy, the President of the United States and an astronaut.
I was in the third grade when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, in hot pursuit of the goals and mission statement outlined by the too-young-to-be-martyred President John Kennedy, got into the manned space flight program.
I used to see the President doing I never fully grasped what on Sunday television so I figured I could combine that job with being a Big League pitcher (the ideal summer job if you think about it, and I sure did. A lot). As for the cowboy part, who among us didn’t want to be one? This was all pre-political correctness where the history of how the west was actually won was heavily airbrushed in classrooms from sea to shining sea.
But returning to that reach-for-the-stars astronaut stuff, could there ever be anything more exciting than shooting across the heavens in steel and glass capsule? Talk about amazing adventures and wondrous stories! But in all honesty there were things we never thought about with space flight to include some of the most elemental of needs and requirements.
And now, thanks to the European Space Agency, ESA, I’m very much all out of any questions and will be rejoining the rest of the crew once all the paperwork is done. Assuming, of course, I can ever again recapture my adolescent ardor for space flight and all the crap, literally, that comes with it.