I have been following the recent stories in the news regarding the planned decommissioning of NASA’s space shuttle programme. The plans have been heavily criticised by many in the space exploration community, most notably the astronaut John Glenn who was the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn stated: “The shuttles may be old, but they’re still the most complex vehicle ever put together by people, and they’re still working very well,”. I visited Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral when I was very young, and remember being astonished by the utter enormousness of the Saturn V rocket lying on its side. Since then I’ve always wondered at the bravery of anyone who sat at the top of what was essentially a giant firework in order to explore the completely unknown.
The following is one of Pixar Animation’s famous shorts, Day & Night, shown at the beginning of Toy Story 3. It’s a beautiful and original idea that works superbly on screen, and at one point echoes much the same sentiments as John Glenn’s.