Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Small Step, One Giant Leap

It seems like forever since I posted on here.. seems to be a running theme with me. I thought I would blog in the past to share experiences and memories, but sometimes, RL and SL team up to give me damned little time to cogitate and set my thoughts to print - I guess life is that way in general. Unless you make the effort, the opportunity passes me by.

Honestly, I sometimes think this is one of the best ways for me to actually put a lot of thought into a subject, and wrangle it around for context and examine my own feelings. As much as I think when I post I am expressing my thoughts on a subject that I feel strong about.

One of the things that I noticed yesterday was how I felt really optomistic. It was the 40th Anniversary of the moon landing, Apollo 11, and the giants of Armstrong and Aldrin, and the oft forgotten Collins, that traveled to that heavenly body, and were the first of mankind to truly experience it. Sure Collins didn't get to set foot there, which is a shame, but his contribution is no less important.

Some people say that the space program did nothing but waste money and time and resources, and goad the generations that have followed to continue wasting money and time and resources on an endeavor that can only get people killed, instead of concentrating the aforementioned items to people that are here, now, suffering, hurting, or otherwise just not getting those resources for use.

Imagine if that had been the attitude of Columbus, or any of the other ocean going explorers and the governments of those times. Imagine. What would our world look like today if we never looked beyond our borders, and really thought about what was over the horizen. And then never tried to see what it was.

The recent passing of Walter Cronkite, one of the most well known journalists/reporters/ and television personalities of the 20th Century, and an avid supporter and the main voice for coverage (in many ways) of the Apollo space program, has had a lot of attention, and many news shows are playing interviews from the last few years. Walter made mention in one of these interviews that in 500 years, the event that will be remembered as much as anything else will be Man Landing on the Moon. Like Columbus, in 1492, widely credited for finding the New World (widely, though some say inaccurately) (if Lief Erikson had had a better publicist, or didn't try to keep the knowlege to himself (I don't know if he did or not) he would have gotten the credit 400 years before, right?).

Where was I? Yeah, 500 years from now, man landing on the moon will be what people remember, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, constantly referred to as the First and Second humans to walk on the surface of the moon, hopefully will also be remembered for pushing the frontiers further into both imagination and exploration of what we can accomplish if we have the impetus of both imagination and desire to see across that next horizen.

I look back over this period of time, and I truly hope that there is a push to continue the exploration of space, and not some underfunded half-baked attempt to make it look like something is happening, when all we're doing is dragging our feet. Granted, without Warp Drive, Hyperspace portals, stargates, or Time Warping starships or gateways, I think we can safely say that the exploration of space is going to be something that will have to happen at a slow, steady pace. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

Oh well, I've babbled a lot about a topic that I'm just scratching the surface of. In the final analysis, I think its what we have to do. Give ourselves options for both resources, and just in case, options, for we are not a terribly wise people, as a whole. I think there are those among us that are wise, but I think as long as politics is a driving force, expediancy and greed will tend to hobble the development of mankind.

Neil Armstrong took that small step by one man, and left a foot print in a place very few have ever been - for all mankind. In the end, my dreams and hopes took root in a future that may never come, but I can sleep better at night knowing that foot print is there, leading the way into what I know is a better future, if we can only follow in those footsteps.