40 years ago today, Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin were the first two humans to land on the moon. It was a huge accomplishment for the United States. From 1969-1972 a total of 6 missions and 12 men walked on the moon.
I was 1 month old when Gene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon said the following. "As I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come — but we believe not too long into the future — I'd like to just [say] what I believe history will record — that America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17." Well.... It's been over 36 years since we have been to the moon. There is a rough outline to return to the moon by around 2020, but right now those prospects do not look good at all.
I feel that we must move forward and expand our knowledge as much as we can. For our entire history we have moved forward and kept on going. We have set goals... achieved them... then set higher goals. But with the space program we just sort of got stuck on pause. Sure we had the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. They have been great programs. But we really didn't expand our abilities or challenged ourselves to do the much harder things. Things like a moon base or a man mission to Mars. Now I realize that doing this type of thing is very expensive and many American's have no interest in doing it. I think it's pretty sad that people feel that way.
It just seems to me that no one is dreaming anymore. No one is looking to the future. We would rather just stay still instead of moving forward. Right now the plan is to get back to the moon by 2020 or so. That will be 50 years after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon for the first time. 50 years!!!! Are you kidding me? I can tell you right now, that with the way we are progressing, we won't make the 2020 date either. It's gonna be more like 2025. So that puts us at over 50 since Gene Cernan was the last man on the moon... Of course, this will only happen if we stay on course. Right now, it's not looking good. More cuts to NASA appear to be coming and the time line is not looking good right now... In fact, I am willing to bet that China will make it to the moon before we do.
If we would have kept moving forward instead of pushing the pause button, we would have already been to Mars and possible other places like the moons of Jupiter by now. We would have gained so much knowledge and kept pushing forward like man has done all throughout history.... But unfortunately, that was not the case.
I guess we would rather spends hundreds of billions of dollars in other parts of the world trying to solve their problems instead of investing in our hopes and dreams here in the United States. How sad is that.