Sunday, July 19, 2009

Over The Moon

Today, 40 years ago, I was still in my mother's womb. I was getting exited about the idea of getting out into the world, and just two months later the world got what they were waiting for. And the planet has never been the same since...

At the same time, one of the most amazing engineering marvels in the history of mankind was being realised. A man set foot on the moon.

The whole world was amazed. I grew up in this generation - the generation that knew that anything was possible. A generation that believed that one of these days, travelling to the moon would be like flying to New Zealand to watch the Tri-nations. Shuttles would take off and land every 30 minutes, taking smiling families away on a trip to the moon.

The moon itself was supposed to have been prime property by 2009. Most western families should by now be able to spend a little money on a nice holiday house near the Sea of Tranquillity.

But, alas, development on the lunar surface is lagging behind, and property agents are hard to come by - even though we're already far into the new millennium.

What went wrong? What happened to the great engineers, the brilliant minds, the people who could accurately land people on the moon with technology that wasn't close to anything you can find in a normal cell-phone today? What happened to the dream?

The Second World War fuelled technologies that were unheard of before Herr Hitler stepped onto the stage. The Cold War fuelled the Space Race, but once the Moon was colonised by the Imperialists, the Russians focussed more on putting millions of AK47's into the hands of children and idiots. The Space Race soon became history, and little Vietnams erupted all over the globe.

The Space Shuttle was one of the last great engineering feats in the Space Race. These old busses still run well past their due date, because no one could come up with something new that was affordable and had a reason to exist.

Wouldn't it be great if some foreign Enemy would start focussing on Space again? Let's hope the North Koreans start sending people to Mars - I am sure this will bring back "good old American know-how". And tons money, of course. Lack of decent funding is, after all, what caused NASA to scale down to such an extent that they could hardly land an unmanned probe on Mars without demolishing it.

As soon as someone starts nailing pegs into the lunar surface, you can bet someone else will want to do the same.

We can only hope. I can't wait another 40 years. Someone has to take the torch and run with this.

See you at the Sea of Tranquillity - one of these days, I hope.

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