Saturday, April 12, 2008

Today In History: To the stars.

Today marks the 47th anniversary of manned spaceflight, with Yuri Gagarin's successful orbit taking place on this date in 1961.

On this date in 1981, John Young and Robert Crippen launched from Cape Canaveral in the shuttle Columbia, beginning shuttle mission STS-1, the maiden voyage of both the Columbia and the shuttle program.

Note that a ten year old who was dazzled by Gagarin's flight would have been thirty when Columbia launched. And if he'd been a particularly insightful thirty year-old, he would have plowed every penny he could into satellite communications investments. And if he'd done that twenty-seven years ago, he could be doing this today.


Anonymous said...

A mere 20 years from Mankind's first tottering steps into sub-orbital space, to the debut of the reusable Space Truck System, dumping all types of satellites and tinker-toys into a sphere around our little blue marble.

To Technology! (slurp)

Turk Turon said...

I was ten years old in '61.

And where am I today?

At a gun show!

the pawnbroker said...

yeah, that kid was me (well, i was seven); i do recall the spacerace and an overall feeling of giddiness and apprehension of what it's future application would bring.

by ten i knew i loved cars and wanted george jetson's...but by thirty my investing was in kids, houses, cars, and living, so my awareness of and investment in that stuff was indirect...and involuntary...another twenty years of my hard-earned tax dollars supported the construction of that little space-based cable system and while i see some return on investment i don't expect to embark on a celestial cruise any time soon.

but i thought sure as hell i'd have one of those jetson cars by now...another twenty years and it'll be too late for that; they can just launch me on out there...i'll be dead so no collateral damage worries but maybe some dimension of soul or awareness will remain as i finally pass through some farther reaches another twenty years after that...maybe that's what Heaven is?...we'll see.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...


Tam, what does the MIM in:

"The trigger bar and ejector on the PPK were not designed to be made of MIM."


And did you do a torture test on a 1911? I see reference to you and said test on the intarweb, but...

Tam said...

MIM=metal injection molding. Very controversial in the gun world. I'm agnostic on the process as a whole, but I don't think it's good for long, spindly parts that are placed under side loads and that were originally designed to be made from machined steel.

I did once throw a custom 1911 in the mud and stomp on it, but I wouldn't call it a "torture test".

Anonymous said...

I remember watching the first Columbia liftoff and being very excited by the whole thing. First manned launch that I remember being live and not on film or tape from Apollo, although I remember some of Skylab on the news from a few years ealier. Seems like we had to get up very early to see Columbia if I remember correctly. Of course, I could be mistaken about the early part. I seem to remember a couple of scrubbed launches before they finally went.

Ah, and a few off topic words in the comments on my favorite pistol as well. (I've gone back to carrying a 1911 almost daily again since around January. Ok, well technically a Commander these days but still.) The pics of Tam giving her 1911 a dirt bath are great. Reminds me of the young trooper with the Expeditionary Force in 1916 who first quipped, "What?!? You mean we actually have to oil 'em?!?"