"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Story Of Man's Greatest Adventure

Well that was a worthwhile trip to the shops. Not only did I manage to get a mother’s day card and something for my friend’s birthday this weekend but I picked up some rather splendid Apollo related merch as well. While checking out the Amnesty International book shop on Gloucester Road (sorry Auntie Christine, no sign yet of “Defence Until Dawn”) I saw this little treasure...

...and it was just £1.50, bargain! And as it says on the cover, the book does have some excellent photos “in exciting colour”. Then a couple of charity shops later I came across a number of National Geographics, including a few with space themes; two on the Space Shuttle and one on Skylab.
Now I’m not as much a fan of the space shuttle, not in the way I am obsessed with Apollo. Somehow it just doesn’t have the romance of the earlier space race days. However, some of the Apollo astronauts flew the early shuttles and they’re in these editions of the NG. But Skylab, fantastic, that was part of the Apollo Applications Programme and had moonwalkers aboard. Three for a pound, result!

Unfortunately the Apollo Applications Programme didn’t get much further than Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). Ah, the plans they had but then as now the people with the power and the money to make things happen simply didn’t have the vision or the inclination to push things forward. Such a shame.

Then my final acquisition was the latest edition of “Spaceflight”. I don’t get this every time it’s an odd magazine and aimed at the really nerdy space geek. OK that is me to an extent but in this magazine they list every space flight that takes place and report on the latest in space activity. It’s great that there is somewhere that documents all this stuff but I only usually get it when there’s an article that’s moon or Apollo related. There’s an article in this edition titled “Goodbye Moon” about the decision by the US President to cancel the Constellation Programme.
So mission accomplished, I got everything I went out for, I didn’t have to pay for parking and I got myself some top space literature into the bargain. Nice one.

Suggested listening: “Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks” by Brian Eno (containing my favourite piece of music "An Ending (Ascent)"


  1. Hello Space Cadet,

    I was SOOOOOOOO tempted to put SC but I restrained myself. ( not easy ).

    I found today's entry very enjoyable for two very obscure, but very real reasons....which I won't embarass myself by going in to on here!

    I'm also very relieved to read that I haven't blotted my copybook. Phew !

  2. You can't say something like "I found today's entry very enjoyable for two very obscure, but very real reasons...which I won't embarass myself by going in to on here" and not reveal all. Go on, no-one else reads this, you might as well tell me.