Astronaut’s death should make people wonder about kids today

10/11/2013 10:29 AM

10/12/2013 5:34 PM

Scott Carpenter’s death on Thursday should cause older baby boomers to recall the exciting days of the U.S. space program and every nationally televised launch of astronauts into orbit around the planet and beyond.

Carpenter, 88, was one of NASA’s original Mercury 7 astronauts. On May 24, 1962, he became the second American to orbit the Earth. John Glenn was the first.

But his passing should make people wonder what children today might see going on in the adult world that would set their imaginations on fire and cause them to dream of what they might some day do. There’s nothing like yesteryear’s space program to give American kids a collective sense of awe and wonder.

Instead they can look at the rigmarole in Washington, D.C., between congressional Republicans and the White House and wonder whether that’s what being grown-up is really all about. They can look at the job struggles of their parents and financing college worries of their older peers and question whether times will be any better for them.

They can turn on the television and see celebrity screw-ups and decide that watching and pretending to be zombies is more appealing than anything in real life.

Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service