Outer space revisited

I recently read my first Sci Fi book… at least I think it was the first, and yet… in a life of reading I must have read one before and anyway it was listed under adventure, and I am always up for that. Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 22.14.14I enjoyed Skylights very much and reviewed it on Amazon. I read it because I have become interested in the author Luther M. Siler via his blog and happened to read the opening of this book which gripped me. It is set in the future, but starts in a schoolroom as the assembled children are watching the launch of the Challenger in 1986.

However, I had forgotten, I have been to space before, nearly thirty years ago. Our youngest daughter decided, age four, that she wanted to be an astronaut. So we made her a space ship. Here are the engineers at work.space construction work 1For christmas that year she had a space suit.spacesuit 1And on her fifth birthday the next year we created a command centre (with lights, recorded sounds etc) for the main module of the space ship and she invited her friends to come to space with her for fifth birthday. One of her friends wanted to know if he should bring his pyjamas.space party 1They all took turns in three roles – pilot, navigator and engineer (I think). Note the Fischer-Price communications system.space party 2She also invited her wonderful first year teacher, who miraculously came. And even more gamely squeezed on board. space partyEven the cake was ready to be launched (note the candles underneath).space cake

I don’t want to end on a sad note, but it is only now that I realise that we could not have held the party a year later. This was 1985, in 1986 the Challenger attempted to take off into space with a brave and enterprising teacher aboard. Teachers are the amazing.

We were lucky, space exploration was all hope and success then. We had a wonderful, memorable party and the spaceship lived on in several incarnations ( a feature on a float, a rhododendron pot, a pots container…).