It was on this day, 43 years ago, that a human being first left footprints on a heavenly body other than Earth. Thus, today is Moon Day.
I'm just finding it hard to celebrate. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are old men now -- not yet as old as John Glenn (I hope you did celebrate his birthday this week) but it's 40 years and counting since anyone has been to the Moon. Here's the complete list (complete with links to Wikipedia entries on each astronaut and mission):
|1||Neil Armstrong||Apollo 11||July 20, 1969|
|3||Pete Conrad||Apollo 12||November 19-20, 1969|
|5||Alan Shepard||Apollo 14||February 5-6, 1971|
|7||David Scott||Apollo 15||July 31–August 2, 1971|
|9||John W. Young||Apollo 16||April 21-23, 1972|
|11||Eugene Cernan||Apollo 17||December 11-14, 1972|
In all the years since, we've flown no higher than the International Space Station. Yes, it is a remarkable achievement to build even a small outpost that's technically in Outer Space -- but the ISS is in Low Earth Orbit -- it's just camping in Earth's backyard compared to the wonders that lie before us.
launched from Kazakhstan on July 14. Yes, the new crew includes one American, CAPT Sunita L. Williams, U.S.N. Williams flew to the Space Station from Russia because we have no operational manned spacecraft in the United States today.
Today. Moon Day.
What went wrong?
OK, that's the end of today's Blog of Days post... but I wanted to give Second Effort Readers something extra... even if, this morning, it's not original.
I saw this cartoon on Zach Weiner's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal a week or so ago. Substitute "manned space program" for "large particle colliders" and you'll have a pretty good idea of what I wish I could say to all those people who say "we have to solve our problems on Earth first before we venture into space...."