Thursday, 7 February 2008

Voyage to Atlantis

Atlantis "doesn't exist", yet we name a Space Shuttle after it. You have to admit that we humans are a strange lot. Some even dismiss scientifically-proven evolution and then go and believe a book full of "fairy stories", but I'd probably be advised not to go there.

Anyway, as NASA readies space shuttle Atlantis for launch, weather permitting, we might get to see something like this.

Many myths and legends have been associated with Tenerife, but the Atlantis legend is one of the bigger ones. Far fetched, of course, but then they said that about Troy for a very long time and, yet Heinrich Schliemann managed to locate the place. Maybe we should have more open minds about history too?

In the Canary Islands, you often find people who "don't believe in" myths, legends, UFOs .... who then go out and "see" one! We saw a similar story when Michael Palin visited the island of Chiloé in Chile, on his Full Circle journey in 1997. There the myth involved witches and, he was told that locals "don't believe in witches, but they exist." Perhaps is it's an island "madness." :)

Speaking of long-ago journeys, I've been sorting through boxes of junk lately and came across a souvenir guide book from Kennedy Space Center, from 1980 (yes, America's Spaceport, the one in Florida, where Atlantis looks good to go.

Since the book is 28 years old, I guess I'm lucky it's not totally sepia, but it did strike me as quaint, full of "artists impressions" of what the shuttle was going to look like when it launched a few months later.

Anyway, since I'm slightly older than Sputnik, never mind manned spaceflight or the lunar landings (real or not), I've seen a lot of new stuff developed over the last 50 years, because we got out there and "pushed the envelope."

The tour was full of "this is where the shuttle will go" and the whole "kid with a new toy" enthusiasm then was mighty infectious.

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