Janice McDonald (USA)
Space Shuttle Mission: STS - 133
When I was a kid we used to make space "helmets" out of paper grocery bags. We'd cut curves in the sides so they'd sit on our shoulders. Then we'd cut a big square in the front with a little hole below. We'd carefully tape clear plastic wrap over the square opening, from the inside, so that we could peer out through a shield of sorts. The round hole was for breathing and communicating with other neighborhood astronauts. Often we also designed and added insignia, antennae, or other decorations. We were perhaps easily entertained by today's standards, but the helmets provided hours of pretend play and exploration.
I still remember watching a television broadcast of men walk on the moon, while sitting with my grandmother, who had crossed into Oklahoma as a girl in a covered wagon while it was still Indian territory! We were both mesmerized. She had never gotten over being amazed by air travel so this event was beyond anything she could imagine.
I find it interesting that the US President who encouraged our space endeavors, and a whole generation, also loved the arts so much:
"I see little of more importance to the future of our country and of civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him." —John F. Kennedy
What fun that a bit of my artistic vision will blast off soon!