It was a challenge to find a neat photo to use today, one that I hadn’t used last year on the “big” anniversary. 41 years ago today, man first set foot on the lunar surface. As Pars3c pointed out, it’s good to remember this stuff more often than just the “fives” and “tens”.
It’s hard to know how to feel on this anniversary. A year ago, NASA was still going to the Moon (in a human way.) The public was watching WeChooseTheMoon.org as it counted down the milestones of Apollo 11 in real-time. On a very microscopic level, in the grand scheme of things, I was still figuring out this blog and had not yet rebranded and moved to a fabulous new domain. Also, my theme dictated that my pictures be smaller than they are now. (Hooray for bigger pictures!)
Now, it seems to me that all of NASA is up in the air, seemingly doomed by a statement from the current NASA administrator that we can’t leave LEO without international help. Really? We can’t? If you say so…. At this moment, people are gathered at a conference, presenting the myriad of reasons why the Moon is a great place to go — a fascinating collection of mysteries begging for human hands to explore them. Yet, by our current president’s statement, “we’ve already been there.” Really? It’s over, just like that? Well, if you say so….
And so I find myself hunkering down in the past, the way I’ve always been. I was asked this weekend to contribute to a podcast — and sadly I couldn’t — about how Apollo affected me personally. It’s a hard question. I was born in 1978, so I missed the whole thing by a matter of years. Still, I had the space bug from a very young age, and although I was a child of the Space Shuttle, the moon landings particularly fascinated me. Apollo made me want to become an astronaut, and although things didn’t go that way, it still has a profound effect on me. I dreamed, and still do dream, of the Moon. I’ll probably always be stuck in the past, between Apollo and the Shuttle. Certainly I see no reason to stick my head out into the future. At the moment, NASA gives me no hope at all. Perhaps commercial endeavors will, in time. We’ll see.