Twenty-four years ago the Pathfinder probe reached the surface of the Red Planet. I woke up in the middle of the night to watch the event – that was a typical rainy summer spent as usual at my grandparents’ house. We got plain, black-and-white television, with two national channels at that time. The national coverage of the landing was unexpected, but I pushed the big red button and turned the volume dial almost off, not to wake anybody else. I was so pleased to have this opportunity. My dream of working in space was just shaping up, with The Astronauts by Stanisław Lem in the reading and 2010 A Space Odyssey sitting in front of my head, and I was soaking up every bit of space-related news. My wide-opened eyes and tuned-up ears waited for the touchdown. It was something new to me, and not a science-fiction anymore. Space felt to me always as achievable, but… in mid 90s it was far away – nothing more than one hundred word news about the beginning of the construction of International Space Station, black-and-white Sol-to-Sol coverage of Sojourner trip in the Ares Vallis and first coloured magazines. This was the closest I could get that time. And the very first touchdown I witnessed.
Don’t know who got this idea of Pathfinder mission coverage in Polish National TV, but – thank you!