Friday, July 3, 2009

Apollo 11, 40 Years Later

This morning after finally dragging my ass out of bed, I ate breakfast while listening to the news. After getting tired of listening to still more Michael Jackson coverage, I switched to the NASA channel. Yes, they have a cable channel.

I hadn't yet given it any thought but was rather pleased to see some 60s footage of the Apollo program. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I was obsessed like many with the space program, and it's still one of my primary interests. I never got to see these films when I was younger, so I find them fascinating.

All of a sudden it dawned on me that the Apollo 11 anniversary was just a few days away. Not just any anniversary, but the 40th! Holy shit!

While I'm not disappointed with the last 30 years NASA spent working on and with the shuttle, I am glad that they are once again looking towards manned exploration of the moons and plants of our solar system. In fact I'd say I'm one of the few people to say that the long break was probably the best things they could've done.

The reason is simple: we as a civilization, and NASA in particular, have advanced significantly in technology since the last moon landing. It is now possible to build better, safer space craft today than it was decades ago, and those craft will be significantly more advanced for less money (relatively speaking). A trip to Mars would have been significantly more dangerous in the 70s or 80s than it will be in 2020.

I just want to send my thanks and love out to NASA, it's employees, and the Apollo 11 crew for inspiring me and countless others.

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