Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean is a heartfelt, mosquito-ridden look into beginnings, endings and preponderance of the middlings of man’s – and woman’s – reach into space.
Ride along with Omar’s friend, Margaret, as she travels to and from Knoxville, Tennessee and Florida’s Space Coast meeting, greeting and waving good-bye to friends: human, technological, and literarily preceding her.
What do endings mean?
As the author seeks to discover the meaning behind the end of government-sponsored spaceflight, we are challenged to answer the question for ourselves, in our own spheres of influence. What do endings mean? Are all endings true endings?
Ending my profession as a career homeschooling mother, my mission completed, my offspring shuttles, rather than moored in a museum, were launched into the space of the human race. And I questioned my future. I still question my future.
Walking the Shores of the Terra Coast
One thing I know, as we learn from Leaving Orbit, once we leave orbit to walk the shores of the Terra Coast we cannot return unless the conditions on the ground return to their former state.
If we wait for that moment – that perfect moment – to happen again, we will wait and we will wait and we will wait.
We might as well move on to the next steps mapped out by our lives, our circumstances, our realities.
Like spaceflight, while we look back, we must look on.
Many thanks to Al Brooke for recommending this book after I told him about a dream I had in which I was invited to view a space shuttle launch up close and personal.