Before there was an iPhone, an Internet, personal computers, a space station, Google, integrated circuits, Apple, WiFi, Java, Linux, Windows, MS-DOS, Silicon Valley, the Space Shuttle, and any number of other technical achievements that we have enjoyed or that we enjoy today, there were these seven guys.
If you don’t know who they are, I will leave it as an exercise for you to figure out. No they were not computer scientists. They did not write code. They did not design electronics.
But they were at the forefront of the most technological advanced period of time in the history of the planet. Over the course of the ten years after this photo was taken, the US developed the core technology that led to all of the advances I’ve listed above — and many, many more — as a direct result of the space program. And these guys were at the front of the line driving this national vision.
These were tough guys. They were not only the world’s best pilots, but they were engineers that knew the tremendous risk they were undertaking. They embraced it because they knew it would advance our collective knowledge of space and technology, which would propel us forward into our future.
These guys were revered. They were heroes. They were men’s men. And as a child of the 1960s, I can tell you that they drove kids like me into technology fields by opening the door into this world.
And with John Glenn’s passing yesterday, they are now memories. While they are now all gone, they will never be forgotten.