Monday, 10 July 2017

Space Guy UK - An Introduction

Having been born in Bristol in the South West of England; during my school days I was taught of the past glories (and shame I later came to understand) of the Great British Empire. At one time the Sun never set upon the Empire; such was its reach!
Our achievements included such things as the Magna Carta in 1215, the genesis of modern democracy. Shakespeare in the late 1500s, then Born in 1642 was Isaac Newton, the Father of modern physics and the first in a long line of ground breaking scientists even to this day, thank you very much Mr Hawking. The industrial revolution steamed on from about 1760 until around 1840, changing the landscape of our planet as we know it. I could go on for hours!

So it came to be that, when at the age of 8, upon discovering a large book ‘The History of Space Travel in 1988 I assumed that NASA were a British organisation. And quite rightly so!
I must admit that I started to get suspicious when my demands to go to Cape Kennedy and Houston were met with laughter from my Dad, telling me that it was too far and his car couldn’t fly. That was how I learnt to read maps, trying to plot a way to famous sites listed in my new favourite book.

When I discovered NASA was a wholly American undertaking, it didn’t shake my curiosity or wonderment, only cemented them even further. It made Gods of Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins that they were so far removed from my understanding of my own place in the world, And when I read even further back, through Grissom, Glenn, Cooper, Shepard, Schirra, Slayton and then I saw Carpenter. I can remember to this day, the sharp intake of breath - - ‘That’s MY name!! Is he my uncle??’ Sadly not as it transpired.

It’s interesting to note here that this fantastic book, ‘The History of Space Travel’ published in the early 80s made little to no reference to the Soviet space programme. I’m sure it mentioned Sputnik and Laika but I would swear blind that I didn’t hear the name Gagarin for at least a year in another book called (I think) ‘The Encyclopaedia of Space’ that I received from my Nan, along with a very basic telescope for my 9th birthday. (It was blue!)

And so to today. Now in my mid 30s I have rediscovered my love and passion for all things space. I have a new telescope (It's black!), am enjoying reading a whole range of things to do with the history of space and have been reminded of that feeling I had when I was 8. - 'Why weren't Britain more involved?' which has prompted me to research this history and stick it on a blog to share with whoever wants to read it!

There's no better place to start than the beginning so keep your eyes peeled for something coming soon!

Image Credit: P. Carpenter

Cheers guys :)


  1. Hi, picked up the post from Rocketeers, really like it. I have a SIM 'SpaceportUK' in Second Life, where I have builds of these rockets and more. If you would like to teleport over, then please click on the link below

    Regards Barry (Aso)

  2. Hi there, thanks for your kind words. It's been such a long time since I've been on Second Life but I'll definitely check it out! Sounds great!


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