Sunday, May 8, 2011

Maturing U.S. Human Space Flight

Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter rides in a 1958 Corvette during Saturday's parade in Cocoa Beach. Photo source: Florida Today.

Cocoa Beach held a parade Saturday as part of the ceremonies in recent days noting the 50th anniversary of Alan Shepard's flight as the first American in space.

The Florida Today article about the parade included this passage:

John and Pat Neilon watched the parade from a shaded area near the fire station. The two moved to Cocoa Beach in 1957 from Washington, D.C., for his job with Vanguard. They still live in the home they built on the beach.

The 82-year-old retired director of unmanned launch operations, worked at Kennedy Space Center until 1986.

"I wish we could keep the program going, but if you look at the shuttles, they were built in the 1970s," he said. "They're old technology, old engineering. Hopefully the commercial aspect will pick up . . . and then, I think, the program will truly have matured."

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