Over 50 years - hard for someone my age to believe.
At the time my Mom and I lived with my grandparents in Cocoa Beach while my Dad was assigned to a USMC duty station where dependants were not allowed. Cocoa Beach was a small town then. My grandparents house was on the beach, about where the Royal office building is now.
Once in a while we saw a Astronaut or two driving around in their Jim Rathman supplied ‘vetts.
It’s hard for me to describe how high these seven military pilots were regarded at the time. I can’t think of any group of people since who commanded a similar level of celebrity and respect. I can think of several who deserved it, but never got it. Sigh.
My grandfather was the engineer in charge of the optical tracking camera system that filmed every rocket launch. A few weeks before John Glenns’ orbital flight he arranged for us meet Mr. Glenn.
You can still see my grandfathers camera towers as you drive along A1A in Brevard county. A couple of them are at Patrick, most at Cape Canaveral, and more along the beach at Playlinda and north.
Just reminiscing. I was 9 when Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
NASA Mercury site
I had a wild hair a month ago and bought the movie "The Right Stuff" on Amazon.
Still held up well, long, as it should be to do that period justice.
I was just a wee lad during the Mercury program, but I remember watching the Gemini and Apollo missions on TV.
Pop flew some guidance circuts on Apollo, he was a micro electronics designer for Martin Marrietta.
We need that kind of national committment to moving the country ahead again.