Celebrating the moon
By Mark Wilcox - OVD Product Manager on Jul 19, 2009
Today is the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing by Apollo 11. And here is a link to one of my favorite photos - the launch of the Saturn V sending them on their way.
I also have a personal connection to the moon landing. My grandfather actually knew Neil Armstrong's parents and even met Neil several times when Neil was a teenager. Though to be candid - as I told my mom, I'm not sure if you could have picked a more boring person to be the first person on the moon. I really wish Jim Lovell (commander of Apollo 13 and first person to make 2 trips to the moon, though unfortunately never able to land) had been the first because he's much more comfortable doing publicity.
That being said - I really wish Obama would come out and have a bold new vision of space exploration. One that encouraged private exploration - basically NASA could act like the FAA for coordination.
Exploration shouldn't be limited by the the winds of politics.
Whether it's actually sending more people to the moon (or beyond) or better unmanned platforms (it should be pointed out that we have found much more about the universe including the stunning Hubbel photographs - have been carried out by unmanned missions). I doubt there is much money in space exploration beyond space tourism but then I'm sure the same was said of the early sea explorers.
But I want to unshackle the next generation of explorers from the whims of politicians. I want my nieces and nephews who while playing with their Lego-built spaceships think of really flying in space. I want to see Red Bull sponsored moon racing.
In short - I want to see what we can do next so that when 2069 roles around -we're not talking about 100 years ago being the last time we set foot on the moon.