Several days ago, the Orion space capsule made its unmanned test flight and performed perfectly. This was the first baby step towards landing people on Mars.
I have waited 46 years for this. The first moon landing occurred when I was 15 years old. I would not be dragged away from the TV - I'm glad it was in the summer! I put my mattress there, ate my meals there, and only left to go to the bathroom. When I fell asleep I left the TV on and woke to more.
I truly believed that we'd be colonizing Mars when I was still young enough to go. The original Star Trek had just ended its run (breaking my heart) and its message that humans will pull through all their hatreds and prejudices (making the last episode truly ironic) to work together and create a real civilization still resonated through me. I honestly believed it was possible. Hey, I was 15. Now I'll admit that Star Trek looks a bit campy today, and suffered the common affliction of 1960s TV shows called the "Girl of the Week Syndrome," but at the time it was very edgy and controversial.
Anyway, the Mars program has officially begun, but here I am 61 years old. By the time they actually get people there, I'll probably be in my 70s. Well, if they decide to land a bunch of old people as expendable test subjects, I just might volunteer.
Seriously. Take me. Can I bring a cat?