History Was Made, Will it Be Made Again?
We watched the whole Moon walk sequence last night and it’s amazing what I remembered from the first time and what made a WHOLE lot more sense now. The thing that really surprised me was how much work the guys had to do in their 2+ hours on the surface. Amazed they got it all done!
Those first men who set foot on the Moon achieved something great, standing on the shoulders of the rest of us who guided them on the way, supported the space effort, and clamored for the images and sounds. They set fire to people’s imaginations, and spurred a great many of us who go on and seek careers in science. I got hooked on astronomy and space science. Other people I know became doctors and physicists and planetary scientists and science teachers and planetarium directors, based on what they saw that night in 1969 and on subsequent missions to the Moon. We all were inspired to dream big.
There’s no way we can replicate the exact conditions of political will and courage that it took for 1960s politicians and corporations to get behind space exploration. But, we need to know that it was a golden age of technological development and science education. Those are things we CAN and DO need to kickstart in my country again (the U.S.). It won’t be easy. The political will needs to be there, and the best way to make that political will happen is to make science research, technology and a serious space program a priority.
What we CAN do is elect people who have more than venal self-interest at heart, who aren’t bought and paid for by oligarchs who only see their profits and can’t see that people with good jobs are an important part of a successful country. We need people who CAN see that space exploration and the technology that flows from it, is at humanity’s best interests. At the very least, it beats the crap out of funding wars and giving tax cuts to people who don’t need them. We don’t get ahead by sitting on our hands and letting some people slide (and get corporate welfare) while others do the work (but don’t get the rewards).