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The Thrill Of The Space Launch

Today’s generation will never really know the excitement of the space exploration many of us grew up with and witnessed in the 60’s and 70’s. who can forget the thrill of watching man land and walk on the moon in the summer of 1969? 

Mars rover casts a shadow
Mars rover casts a shadow (NASA)

There was a time when every NASA launch and landing was carried by every TV network and you would watch in utter amazement.  After a while though even the space shuttle missions became somewhat routine and our fascination with space no longer warranted the headlines.   At least for a moment NASA is front and center with this morning’s successful landing of a sophisticated rover on the surface of Mars after a 154 million mile journey.  It marks the future of space exploration. Quite different from Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface of the moon but pretty exciting stuff.

I’ve been listening to a lot of discussion about Michael Phelps’ place in history when it comes to the greatest Olympic athletes of all time.  The American swimmer has ended his career with a record 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold and there’s little doubt he’s the greatest swimmer of all time.

Al Bello, Getty Images

Some hesitate to give Phelps the honor of best-ever Olympian because they want to reserve that title for a track athlete like Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens or even Usain Bolt.  Of course there is no correct answer as it’s a matter of opinion but Phelps stood the test of time, beginning his Olympic career as a 15-year old boy and ending it as a 27-year old man.  Plus the 22 medals speaks for itself

The 2nd annual James Volpe Foundation Wifflle Ball Tournament and Family Day will take place on Saturday, August 18th at the Holbrook Little League Complex in Jackson.  The day long outing will feature rides, carnival games, music, volleyball, food and of course wiffle ball.

It’s all to benefit the foundation established after the tragic death of Jackson Memorial High School senior and baseball player James Volpe, who was killed in an auto accident last May.  The foundation has supported numerous charities and events since its inception by family and friends.  For information on the August 18th event and more visit or call Rob Melo at (609) 247-0577.

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