In the 1980's film, Princess Bride (best movie ever) Max the miracle man and his wife produce an antidote that revived our hero Wesley allowing him to set off on a journey to rescue his True Love from the clutches of an evil prince. The wife asks her husband, "Think they'll make it?" His response: "It would take a miracle!"
This line from the movie echoed in my head as I walked through the John Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida this week. The exhibitions take you
through the history of our space program beginning in the 1950's and continuing through today.
Mixed among the successes were some deadly failures
(i.e. the Apollo 1 fire which claimed the lives of Astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee). But after each setback came the mourning, the discretion, the learning, and the new growth.
The mathematics and logistics that went into planning, constructing, and fulfillment of this program, with nothing more than rudimentary computers and slide rulers, boggles one's mind. One tour guide equated it to firing a pistol from Delaware and hitting a basketball that has been thrown into the air in Los Angeles. It truly took a miracle.
Visiting here only increases my awe and admiration for the goal laid out by President John Kennedy on September 12, 1962, the courage of each and every astronaut that willingly left earth's atmosphere, and the 440,000 scientists, engineers and support staff that calculated, designed, constructed and guided each and every dangerous flight.
For a brief period of time, our space program gave the world pause to contemplate the power of community, look beyond its mortal bonds and truly "touch the face of God".