Last night I saw a preview screening of In the Shadow of the Moon, a documentary about the Apollo programme focussing on the experience of the astronauts. It was not a critical documentary, which was fine - its main interest lay in hearing the astronauts speak about how they felt at the time and afterwards. The rhetoric of nationalism (and masculinity to a certain extent) was present throughout most of it but only mildly.
A review described it as "uplifting" and I did wonder from whose perspective it would be so. Nevertheless, I did find parts of it uplifting, particularly the footage of the separation of the Saturn V stages, which sounds really boring, but was actually quite moving! And the docking manoeuvre for the return journey. There was also a fabulous sequence in slow motion of the Apollo 11 Saturn V liftoff, the camera still as the rocket body slowly moved past it with suitably majestic music, and then, as the base of the rocket came into the view, the music fading into the terrible roar of burning fuel. It made me feel much more - I don't know how to describe it - affectionate? about the Saturn V than previously.
Which makes me think about emotional attachment to space artefacts. I love Vanguard 1 and Asterix 1, but don't really have any favourite rockets. Why?
Well, that's not quite true - I am quite fond of Veronique and the Pierres Precieuses series. I guess what I'm wondering is why certain space hardware appeals to different people.