I don’t know a terrible lot about the space program. I was born after all the good stuff had already occurred. My Grandmother thought the world of Kennedy and the space program, traveling to the moon and Mars, exploration of the universe, the Hubble Telescope; all of that stuff. It was never something that really interested me. I don’t put a whole lot of stock in aliens and even if I did, I just don’t see it being nearly as fun as any of the good sci-fi stories. I probably won’t live to see a propulsion system or energy source that can get us out of the solar system. Not to mention any of the other million obstacles that are keeping us tied to this rock. I might see us land on Mars, but not much farther than that.
But on July 29th, 1969 we landed on the moon. A man stepped out of a shuttle and stepped onto that rock.
In seventy odd years the human race went from the development of the combustion engine to landing on the moon. Since then we have developed…God, we developed everything. That’s a joke, but that’s how it feels. Since that point we have advanced so damn much that it is mind boggling. I think I won’t see the technology to do any of the “good stuff” with space exploration. But my Grandmother didn’t think she’d watch a man walk on the moon. No one did. They didn’t know we would have cell phones or the internet or computers that could fit in our hand and were a thousand times more powerful than that shuttle. Maybe I will see us escape this solar system, maybe the time period will be irrelevant because we will have cured everything by then.
All this because of that one step. That one small step.
We are tied up in a lot of things. Between politics, religion(s), races, and all the other shit we argue about, it’s amazing that we get anything done. But we do. We learn, we teach, we work, we invent and create, we transcend our bounds, whether physically or mentally. We strive.
Rest in peace Mr. Armstrong.