Why does no one care about astronauts anymore?
They used to be considered heroes. The country knew their names. There were parades held in their honor. People would gather around tiny TV sets to catch a glimpse of their shiny space suits. And where are they now? What happened to the magic and mystique of exploring outer space? When did astronauts stop being cool?
These days you don’t even hear about astronauts. Shuttles are launched and missions are completed without the American public even hearing about it. The only time it seems to take over the news is when something goes wrong. Astronauts used to hold the country’s attention. They used to be celebrities, and for good reason.
Astronauts are really the best of the best. They have to be smart: book smart and have common sense. They have to be clever, and good at solving problems on the spot. (The astronauts on Apollo 13 managed to get around the moon and back with only enough energy to power a hairdryer for 3 minutes!) They have to be good communicators and good at working with people (even from different countries). They have to be in excellent physical condition. And finally, they have to be level headed and rational under pressure.
If you think about it, they “deserve” to be famous much more than our current celebrities. Their accomplishments are greater than being on a reality television show, yet more people could name the “seven strangers” in the Real World Cancun house than the seven astronauts currently orbiting the Earth. (It’s true; a shuttle was launched on Thursday carrying seven astronauts).
Sadly I would fall into this category of people, so I looked up the names of the seven astronauts. They are: Rick Struckow, Kevin Ford, Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez, John Olivas, Nicole Stott, and Christer Fuglesang. I am going to try to remember these names, and pay attention to their 13-day journey.
I’m not really sure what replaced astronauts. They used to captivate the country’s attention, now people forget they even exist. Maybe they just faded out. Maybe once we successfully reached the goal of getting to the moon, people lost interest. With all of the new advances in technology, it does not make sense to me how space travel has become less popular. Every other branch of technology has greatly improved since the 1960s, so why does it seem that space travel is lagging behind?
I hope space exploration makes a come back. We should be proud to be part of a country that has made it to the moon, and be excited for the future discoveries that can be made.