Monday, July 20, 2009

40 Years of Wonder

I have never known a world where man has been bound to the surface of the Earth. When I was born, 3 years had passed since Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin and American Astronaut Alan Shepard became the venture into what Carl Sagan once called, "The Cosmic Shoals" just beyond the atmosphere. In less than 9 years, our species would do what man has always dreamed of, set foot upon another world.

Three men who's names will be remembered for as long as man explores the universe where just the tip of iceberg. Thousands of men and women worked to fulfill the dream and on July 20, 1969 they were joined by billions on the Earth in watching a 38 year old human being emerge from a small spider-like machine and step upon the surface of the moon.
We spent only a little over 2 hours on that first "small step". We returned 6 more times and another 10 men joined Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin to become the only humans to have walked those small steps. Beautiful Desolation is how Buzz Aldrin described the lunar surface and now, 40 years later, our species is once again making more of those small steps.

Will we do it, will we return to the moon? I believe we will but it might not be as Americans or as Soviets or as Chinese. We will return to the moon and go beyond as one Humanity because the Cosmos are bigger than petty nationalism of one small planet.

So, the question isn't where were you 40 years ago? but where will you be 40 years from now when our species take another "Small Step"?