Without Carpenter, Shepard, Grissom, Glenn, Schirra, Cooper and Slayton, we couldn't have gone to the Moon, built Skylab and Space Station or today be thinking of voyages beyond. The combination of the right people (think Wernher Von Braun and John F. Kennedy), at the right time (The Cold War and the emerging technical capability suitable for space travel), and in the right country (with the money to fund the effort and the know-how to support it) make this generation admirable, and many argue, unique in human history.
Some say that significant historical events happen because “it is the right time.” I say that these events are often totally dependent upon the people who make them happen. Ideas are important; the tide of history cannot be ignored; but without the people to act, some events will simply not occur.
Scott Carpenter and his generation are passing. They will be sorely missed.
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