Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong, RIP: Lament for Space

Neil Armstrong's passing is sad not only for the man and his family, but for the whole human species, and, in particular, everyone who regrets how little we have progressed in space faring since Armstrong's steps on the Moon in 1969.

No further walks on the Moon since the end of the Apollo program a few years after Armtrong's walk.   No settlements.  No humans any place else in our solar system, and, no place beyond.

In July 1969, it seemed that all of that was possible.  I thought back then that by 2012 we certainly would have colonies on the Moon, and people on Mars, and on or around other planets and places in the solar system.

None of that happened.   The stand down from the most exciting and crucial adventure of humankind began with Richard Nixon.  And, indeed, no President since JFK, no Democrat or Republican, has ever inspired our nation to do more.   No Congress, either.

Europe and China have picked up some of the reins, but those space efforts haven't progressed very far yet, either.  Private enterprise is starting to do some space work, but those efforts have a long way to go to catch up to where NASA and Armstrong and humanity were in 1969.

It will happen, someday.  We humans are a part of the cosmos, and we'll get out there.   But unless something changes, it won't happen any time soon.
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