He tells the story, here, of how his dream began at age 5:
……when everyone else was answering “policeman” or “fireman” or “doctor” to the question of what they wanted to be when they grew up, my first real answer was that I wanted to be an “outer space moving van driver”, helping (and this part was very specific) families to move into orbiting space stations…..
Well, as he goes on to explain,
Needless to say, I never did become an outer space moving van driver. Nor did I end up in space science in any fashion whatsoever. Or, indeed, in any field of science at all. (For that matter, I don’t even drive.)
But the exploration of space, whether by human or machine, has since that early memory of film fiction [2001: A Space Odyssey] been a consistent source of inspiration, and the realities of that exploration over the decades since have made me both cheer and weep over what’s possible when men and women strive for something (is there any other word for it?) awesome.
Now my son has a chance to witness, in person, the launch of the shuttle Endeavor on April 19 as one of 150 people selected from all over the world and hosted by NASA, as explained in the following:
NASA will host a two-day Tweetup for 150 of its Twitter followers on April 18-19 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Space shuttle Endeavour is targeted to launch at 7:48 p.m. EDT on April 19, on its STS-134 mission to the International Space Station.
The Tweetup will provide @NASA followers with the opportunity to tour the center, view the shuttle launch and speak with NASA managers, astronauts, shuttle technicians and engineers. The event also will provide participants the opportunity to meet fellow tweeps and NASA’s social media team.
He’s been invited. And, yes, he’s excited.
Now he has to find the money for air fare and housing. While he’s in the middle of discussions with his fellow invitees regarding how to share expenses, he will still have costs that, unemployed as he is at the moment, he can’t afford to pay for.
But he is an active citizen of the Net, and, as such, he’s put himself out there to ask for help from those who know him and can’t wait to see what he reports and photographs as he lives out his dream.
Please consider donating to my trip fund for this experience. Anything raised in excess of funds required to cover trip expenses will be donated to Mercy Corps for Japan earthquake relief and recovery.
Yes, I’m donating, as is his sister, and, hopefully other family members and friends.
b!X needs a break. A job would be great too, but in the meanwhile, a chance to be at Cape Canaveral on April 18 and 19 is the closest he’s ever going to get to having his childhood dream come true. And, on top of that, as he tweeted:
This trip will happen three years almost to the day since my Dad died. He would have thought this was the most awesome thing ever.
And a note to my friends and family:
I’m sure that you will never have a chance to give him a wedding gift, so how about donating a few bucks to this adventure, which will no doubt be the highlight of his life.
To donate online, go to https://www.wepay.com/donate/197774.