Saturday, July 20, 2019

Neil Armstrong's big day

July 20, 1969: fifty years ago, human beings landed on the moon. With a surface gravity that's one-sixth of the earth's, the moon would feel only fifty pounds of pressure were I to stand on it. There are times when I'd love to weigh only fifty pounds. But today isn't about me: it's about celebrating an achievement that was repeated only a few more times before manned missions to the moon mysteriously stopped. Since the stoppage, humanity has been intent on stupidly surrounding our planet with millions of large and small pieces of space garbage, all of which now make launching manned missions, even short ones to the moon, extremely hazardous. There's a very real chance that we are walling ourselves in with orbiting detritus, making future human spaceflight impossible.

That said, it's not all gloom and doom. We can still take a moment to commemorate one of humankind's greatest achievements: a successful moon landing.

We'll be back there someday soon, I hope.

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