When I moved out to West Virginia about 13 years ago, I started a tradition. Almost every year since then, I have sent an email to my good friend Dr. Eleanor O'Rangers celebrating what we call Moon Day. That day, July 20th is the Anniversary of when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out onto the Lunar surface.
Usually I rant for a few paragraphs on the lack of direction this country now has in space. This year I want to try something different. A few positive thoughts (or at least non-negative) might be better.
First I have a link to a blog post written by someone I went to high school with. I guess I did not know him as well as I thought. Turns out he is a "space" guy as well. In this post he talks about going to the launch of STS 135. The title is "Space Shuttle Launch: Joe's Personal Experience" published online via "The Boone Examiner". I just wish I had gotten to see one of them launch too.
Forty-two years have passed since man first set foot upon the moon. If I have my numbers right, that means most Americans have been born since that event. As a kid growing up, I had thought that we would have a space station and that we would be refueling spacecraft there. And that those spacecraft would be taking us to the other planets, and maybe, just maybe, to some distant star. I hope kids growing up today feel that same awe and wonder as the space shuttle flies it's last. I hope they dream of building spacecraft, robots, and space stations too. I hope one of them discovers a way to allow our fragile bodies to conserve muscle and bone to allow long space flights. I hope one of them discovers better propulsion and better life supports systems. I hope one of them makes a computer breakthrough which allows us to fully map our solar system's weather allow us to predict events hazardous to our astronauts and plan for their safety.
I think someday soon, they will.
Happy Moon Day Eleanor, and everyone.