I am a space geek.
I grew up in Florida. Born in the mid-60s, I was mesmerized by each and every launch from Cape Canaveral / Kennedy. The Apollo, Skylab and other missions manned and unmanned held me in thrall as only child hero worship could. I wrote letters to my hero, then LCDR Alan B. Shepard, commander of Apollo 14.
I wrote letters to NASA with detailed plans for moonbases, space stations and ships. They were wondefully supportive. I still have all the letters they wrote back. I watched Stoway to the Moon and wondered if I could ever get aboard a NASA mission. My sacred temple was the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. I watched Skylab II lift off from Kennedy.
I lept out of my Saturday MBA class in February 2003, when notified that Columbia had disintegrated over Texas. I sat anxiously with the alert OPS officer as he tried to determine is Navy MARPAT aircraft would be necessary for the search.
There would be no rescue.
As a boy, I would receive the flan brown government envelopes with a delight only exceeded at Christmas. Inside was always an official letter, signed with a few glossy prints of rockets and the earth. It was a kid's dream come true. I wanted to become an astronaut very badly, still do. Part of the draw of military service as a kid was the higher likelihood of getting into space.
I hold out a lot of hope for our planet. I have an overwhelming faith in science and technology. Applied well, it provides boons and benefits unimaginable.
Left fallow, it deprives our species of its best chance for survival.