That was a sobering thought. The first space shuttle launch and landing occurred 30 years ago. I'd like to say that I was a mere babe at the time but alas I was practically launched myself. What an exciting thing to witness. How fortunate we were to live at Edwards AFB and be a first hand witness to history. It's interesting to think about how much this event was so much a part of my life that I just took it for granted. Growing up my whole life surrounded by jets, sonic booms and wide open spaces. Here comes this gigantic space craft that had been launched into space like a rocket and was casually landing on a strip of dry lake bed like a jet airplane. Very cool, indeed.
It's interesting also that this anniversary shares it's date with the 50th anniversary of the ride of Yuri Gagarin in 1961. Now for sure I was not even alive at that point so it doesn't resonate with me as strongly. That and the fact that he was Russian. So growing up, we pretty much ignored contributions from the 'commies'. But as an adult when I think about how awesome that must have been for humanity to realize that we were about to propel ourselves into the space age. Wow.
All of this space related reminiscing got me thinking about the food and snacks that we used to eat as kids that had some sort of space related theme to it. The most obvious example is of course, Tang. Geez, could there be a grosser powdered drink on the planet than Tang? We'd stumble into the kitchen where our mom had been up for hours already and there on the kitchen table the glasses of freshly stirred Tang were waiting for us. It was gross, Everyone knew it was gross. But we drank it anyways because it was cool. Hey man, astronauts drank this stuff and they are rock stars so drink up brother! Remember when you'd get about 80% finished and you'd have to catch your breath, because of course you had been secretly holding our breath trying to deaden your taste buds ability to function. Then you'd catch a glance of the bottom f the glass. There it was. The grit. Giant piles of undissolved astronaut grit. You'd clear your throat and tell yourself "man up dude, finish your Tang, don't be a woos." One last swallow.
So last night I posted a question on facebook asking my friends for an appropriate drink to toast to the 30th/50th anniversaries. I was just thinking vodka with the Russian connection. Then there it was. Someone suggested Tang. Then the suggestions started pouring in and the final version ended up being dubbed the Tang-tini. Na Zdorovie.