Monday, April 24, 2006

Didn't you hear Scott Crossfield is dead
I agree I watched all of the George and Arnold show a bit like watching “A Punch and Judy” puppet performance. As if just going thru the motions designed for the polls of public consumption. Not their fault its a media event.

Odd that I would read this mention of Sputnik which takes me back to a time before space travel was anything but routine, clear, or even if it could be done. The sound barrier seemed to be an impenetrable wall behind which were buried the brave along with all the remains of the day that seemed to challenge this force of nature.

Still the other day a childhood hero perished while flying his tiny Cessna 210A through a sudden thunderstorm… The crash happened only a few miles down the road from my home. It seemed somehow so appropriate but ironic twist in time. The tragic crash brought back memories that came flooding back from that time when all seemed to be riding on the shoulders of a gallant few who had picked up gauntlet of the Soviet challenge. In so doing they were able to raise and inspire a nation thru literally the ominously daunting dark times and hurtles of the cold war. They seemed to instill that right stuff into the culture form of a rarified vision for hope that not only united a nation but in the final analysis perhaps pulled us all back from the brink of a horrific nightmare. For those who did not experience life in and though this time its very difficult to describe that sword of nuclear Damocles that hung heavy over all our heads… At the time Sputnik was a terrifying wake up call at the time. Scott Crossfield and others answered that call that galvanized a national pride with a steely determination that spilled over into that sea of hope that was the fountainhead of our salvation and carried our civilization on bold new direction to the stars. It was a unique moment in time. There was a certain purpose, inspiration, added to studies of urgent desperation…

And then there was the thunder and in whispers of children you might hear some kid say with a certain conviction that would bring goose bumps… “That was the X-15 breaking the sound barrier again!”… Of course we had no idea of miles beyond the geography of our back yard to the Mojave Desert was a half a world away but it could have been an echo anything can happen when you’re six:). It was supposed to be top secret (but we all were allowed as if co-conspirators) some of us even had our Edmunds rocket kits (like baseball cards included pictures of the X-15). Kids know a lot more than we sometimes give them credit…

Scott Crossfield is dead... But I can still heard the Thunder.

I think it bad form not to mention that the day before Scott Crossfield passed that Louise Smith the “First Lady of NASCAR” also found her wings... She was a card and was one in my grandfather's circle of racing friends who would from time to time get together to bet on ants racing across the porch... I think this remarkable lady has made her mark on at least a couple of pages of NASCAR history, which is very much a part of Southern history.

And today is also the anniversary of the death of Vladimir Komarov who was the first "cosmonaut" killed in space... Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov (Russian: Владимир Михайлович Комаров; March 16, 1927 – April 24, 1967) was a Soviet cosmonaut. He was the first human to die during a space mission, on Soyuz 1, and the first Soviet cosmonaut to travel into space more than once.

He was born in Moscow, USSR (now Russia).

He was selected to become a cosmonaut in 1960 with the first cosmonaut group. After being the backup for Pavel Popovich on Vostok 4, his first spaceflight was with the Voskhod 1 mission. On his second flight, Soyuz 1, he was killed during a return, when the spacecraft crashed owing to failure of the parachute.