Days are passing by at an unprecedented speed thanks to our son Arman. My time perception changed quite a bit during the last 20 days. Arman witnessed a historical moment yesterday, when he was about 19 days old. Around 10:30, I downloaded the live groundtrack file from NASA’s Space Shuttle mission pages. Then, I and my wife started to watch the final space shuttle mission (STS-135) via Google Earth. As Arman was resting on the couch in our living room, and the space shuttle was decelerating in an amazing manner, approaching the Earth, flying over the Pacific Ocean, I tried to answer some technical questions of my wife. Then she became curious and wanted to watch the real thing via NASA TV.
I know that Arman will not remember any of this but I’ll try to help him construct some then-long-gone memories, events that he witnessed unconsciously, namely the end of the glory days of space shuttle era when he was just a newcomer to the Earth. It was also a very nice coincidence that we also watched BBC’s wonderful documentary about the space shuttle era: The Space Shuttle: A Horizon Guide. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch this very informative and exciting documentary again with Arman when he grows up but it’ll definitely help me to detail the story I’m going to tell.
Some people and publications started to ask whether the space age is over (see The Economist’s ‘Is this the end of the space age?‘) but I think that as long as new babies are born and some of them inherit the wonderful, noble and admirable curiosity of the great minds who initiated the space age, we are going to be surprised by the developments and discoveries that will eventually take place in the context of space-related research. And when that time comes I’ll turn to my son, smile to him and say “hey, didn’t I say so, check out the archives! ;-)”