Happy 40th anniversary, Apollo 11

2009/07/20

Today being what it is, I only have one thought to share, as indicated by the title of this post. On this day, I think it is highly appropriate to commemorate the monumental achievements of the Apollo Program in general, not only because I am a citizen of the nation whose efforts culminated in this remarkable feat, but also because of significance of the event in human history. I truly hope that we return to the Moon – and explore beyond it – in the relatively near future; at the very least, I would like to witness such events during my lifetime, even if they partially replicate activities originally undertaken 40 years ago. And lest some of you doubt the utility of continued human presence in space, keep in mind that one day, we must leave “the Cradle” (so to speak), if we wish to ensure the continued existence of the human race; our homeworld, pleasant as it is, has a finite lifespan. It may not end in the next hundred years, or the next thousand, etc., but one day, it will become unsuitable for our use, and we will be forced to leave. Given the history of catastrophic extinction events in the history of the planet, it is also in our best interests to pursue means of perpetuating our species beyond the confines of our current home. We may not have interplanetary or interstellar flight for decades or centuries hence, without taking these first steps, we may never have them at all. With NASA’s new focus on the Constellation Project, [1] world efforts at completing the International Space Station,[2]  and the growing interest in private-sector spaceflight investment, we may, indeed, be witnessing the birth of a “renaissance” in space exploration and travel. Hopefully, we will be successful in these endeavors.

Also, to those of you out there who believe the whole Apollo Program was a massive conspiracy/hoax, while I respect your right to maintain such opinions, please do me (and the rest of us believers) a favor today, and shut up. You can get back to marketing your paranoid delusions tomorrow. Let the rest of us enjoy today.

That is all.

Notes:

[1]: See here for a description of the Constellation Program (Wikipedia article).

[2]: See here for NASA’s official website for the ISS; there are plenty of other international websites devoted to the ISS, as well, so feel free to navigate to those, as well (assuming, of course, you can read the languages in which they’re written!)

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