Word of the final space shuttle having a successful launch on July 8th brought a smile to my face.
I was thinking about the first space shuttle launch I saw on TV in the spring of 1982. It was an international event at my household. We had a German exchange student staying with us and it was her first day in our home. We watched the launch together in amazement.
I spoke no German. Her English was awkward. One of the few times in life when being speechless at the profundity of an event was perfectly fine. Our smiles to each other & pointing at the television screen in delight was expression enough.
How much smaller the world has grown since then. Still that bright blue ball in the sky for the astronauts, but now we too can have a world view.
- GPS can show us where we are on that big blue ball.
- Satellites can show me what my home looks like from the sky.
- My friends can connect to me instantly with Twitter, IM, email, cell phones, social networking sites and Skype.
- I can listen & discuss the news of the world on programs like “World Have Your Say” on the BBC or Twitter feeds.
- I can translate a webpage from a one language to another with free software
- I can watch what’s happening in the International Space station on a web feed
- I can attend a class remotely in real time
And yet with changes in the speed and scope of our ability to communicate, its still those direct communincations and interactions that mean the most.
- Getting a birthday card in the mail or even better a cake made for you!
- Talking to family near & far
- Enjoying the friendships in your neighbourhood
- Throwing ball in the yard with your kids
- A face to face conversation with a friend
- A house party to celebrate summer
- A thoughtful friend’s ear to hear me out & give advise
- The joy of playing with a beloved pet
- The sights, sounds and sensations of being out in nature
I’m appreciative of all the technology that’s come along since those early NASA Space Shuttle flights but it’s nice to know there’s some things that technology can’t improve.
Eagerly awaiting the next chapter in our trip to the stars….