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    Posted July 16, 2009 by
    kidatheart2
    Location
    United States
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    40th anniversary of a man on the moon

    My Dad at NASA 1969/70.

     

    I was 7 years old at the time.  My Dad worked at NASA so we were able lucky to go to the Cape to see Apollo 11 launch.  I will never forget how loud and amazing it was.  We sat on a patch of land across from the water near the launch pad.  The first huge area of smoke from the initial blast was followed by a small clear space of sky before the rocket launched.  Then a trail of smoke began to go straight up.  As the wind carried the trail it created a slight bend and what was left, as Apollo 11 went out of sight, was a large question mark in the sky.  I will never forget the gasp from the crowd and my Dad reassuring us there was no question they would return.  It was a fun childhood of behind the scenes views of NASA, seeing the original large neutral buoyancy tanks where the astronauts practiced, and the wonderful NASA family picnics.  About twelve years ago, when my son was born, I told my Dad I wanted to decorate my son's room in a space theme.  We went to the Space Museum Gift Shop to pick out some reproduction mission patches.  I asked my Dad to pick out the ones related to the missions he had supported at NASA.  He started at one end of the display, with the first Mercury patch and then worked his way through them until SkyLab, when he retired.  I was speechless.  Living in the middle of the adventure was so normal when we were kids that I did not realize how special it was until I was and adult.  My Dad was a really great man and he gave us amazing memories of the birth of the space program.  He reminded us how important the program was to our country's success in innovation and that we needed to stay the leader of the world in technology.  My Dad passed away two years ago at 88 and is now, I think, a little closer to the stars.

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