Monday, October 22, 2012

A childhood memory

Explorer 1

Late one night when I was 7 years old, my father took me out in our front yard. It was a clear night, and we could see lots of stars. He showed me the Big Dipper and the North Star.

Then he paused, found what he had been looking for, and pointed out one "star" that was slowly moving. I wasn't quite sure I saw the right one.

He told me it was America's first satellite (Explorer 1), and he said I should remember the date: January 31, 1958.

I did remember the "January 31" but I forgot the year until I looked it up much later.

I'm sorry my dad didn't live to see me working at JPL! Today would have been his 87th birthday.