03 September 2006
They spent their careers in capsules, at least the part we saw. Before they even existed in real life, we knew all about them from movies and comic strips. We acknowledged the necessity of their nerdy spacesuits and how they would float around up there, laughing the whole time. Later the real ones lived in our TVs. They stepped out of them, occasionally, and sat with us in our living rooms, watching as rockets exploded, spacecraft arced here and there, and parachutes dropped them to the ocean. Then they returned to the TVs, their glass capsules, perfect vacuum tube habitats.