Neil Armstrong

Getting to the moon was, of course, a communal effort. It couldn’t have been done without the work of thousands of engineers and support staff, without the political will of the whole USA, and without the inspiration of dreamers throughout the ages. It wasn’t just Neil Armstrong’s achievement.

But he was still the one who got into a rocket, knowing there was a strong chance it would kill him, and travelled further than any human being had ever travelled before. He left his footprints on another world.

Whatever one’s views on manned space-flight, one thing is sure — should intelligence on this planet last long enough, one day we will have explored, and possibly settled, space as far as the limits of the laws of physics will allow. And whatever worlds our (intellectual or physical) descendants inhabit, they will do so in part because of Neil Armstrong.

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1 Response to Neil Armstrong

  1. TAD says:

    Sadly, the political will for more manned space flights is virtualy nil. The only major candidate in either party who suported it during the campaign was Newt Gingrich, and he was ridiculed for doing so by most of the establishment.

    Critics often say things like, “We should take care of hunger and poverty here on earth before we spend money on a space program.” But by that standard, we’ll *never* explore. Personally, I want to learn as much as I can about our solar system, our galaxy and the universe. Knowledge is a good thing.

    I’m hopeful that we’ll find extraterrestrial life during my lifetime, even if it’s just single-celled organisms living in the icy oceans of one of Jupiter’s moons. Perhaps we’ll discover it mathematically, by analyzing the atmosphere of some distant exo-planet and determing that its atmosphere could only be explained if life was present on its surface. It’s my belief that if we continue exploring space in all ways possible, one of the discoveries that we’ll make is that the universe is teeming with life. Wherever life can exist, it will *find* a way to exist. Life isn’t fragile….very much the contrary. Life *wants* to exist and thrive, at all costs. Given the chance, any chance, life will find a way. Sadly, the political leadership for space exploration is lacking right now. This is the area where I’m most disappointed in President Obama….that the leader of John F. Kennedy’s old party would completely abandon manned space flights and ambitious space plans is an embarassment to America’s legacy.

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