|Captain Jim and me. Two veterans from different worlds!|
Not just any old astronaut you understand, but one Jim Reilly no less, a veteran of four Atlantis Shuttle missions. We met in the unimposing restaurant facility at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, during a recent visit there to unveil the brand new Atlantis attraction.
Jim was, I have to say, the complete opposite of what I expected, a somewhat self deprecating man who insisted he got into the Space business by accident. I am sure he has had his fill of nosey civilians who want to know all the ins and outs of life in space, mostly to do with toilet habits I might add. I on the other hand was like a breath of fresh air, testing him with questions on more simple things like God and religion; did he feel closer to the big guy up there, or did it give him more of an insight into how creation really happened etc.
He deftly dodged all the tricky stuff and gave me answers that would avoid any politically incorrect incidents. Jim was, the perfect politician.
Having said all that, the Atlantis attraction was jaw droppingly good, and features at its climax the actual shuttle itself close up and personal. There was I have to admit, a tear in my eye.
Thanks Jim for a lovely lunch and a little insight into living in Space.