Been there, done that

No doubt it’s a big deal for a lot of people — the naming of four astronauts who will fly around the moon and back. And I congratulate the individuals named to that crew: NASA’s Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Hammock Koch and the Canadian Space Agency’s Jeremy Hansen. For them I’m sure it’s a very big deal.

But seriously, NASA. It’s not like this is a first, or anything new or earth-shattering. You did this 50 years ago!! Not only did you send crews around the moon, you had crews actually landing on the moon, walking on its surface, taking pictures, collecting samples, hitting golf balls, and planting US flags. Now you want us to be excited because half a century later you’re going to do it again?

Come on. By now you should have established a permanent base on the moon. You should have regular shuttles flying to and from the moon. You should be preparing to launch a Mars expedition from that moon base.

So no, I’m not particularly excited to know you’re finally going back to the moon. In my book, you and the US dropped the ball 50 years ago.

On December 24th 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders became the first humans to orbit the moon and the first to witness “Earthrise.” (Photo: NASA)
On the moon on July 20, 1969. (Photo: NASA)

To be fair, being benched for 50 years was not NASA’s fault. Flying to the moon is grotesquely expensive, and the US government/politicians have not exactly been forthcoming with the necessary funds. NASA would probably still be on the bench if it weren’t for China and its lunar aspirations. But while NASA is excited to finally be back in the game, I am at this point merely interested. (Although admittedly hopeful … )

And although “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” I do wish NASA well in this and all future endeavors.

7 thoughts on “Been there, done that

  1. I absolutely love it, Susan, because it brings my late and very much adored husband to the forefront again: I know how tickled pink he would be, were he here .. Like most blokes, Chic was deeply into the whole space thing; and no matter how many times something about it was news, it excited him. And so no matter how many times he was excited, I was happy. 😀

    1. I, too, have wonderful memories of US accomplishments in space. What could possibly top watching the first men on the moon! And although I don’t know how we can ever top that (well, maybe a first landing on Mars), I love seeing technology taking us “where no one has gone before.” And we may well need it, not because of China but because, given our current rate of global warming, we could end up in desperate need of a Plan(et) B to evacuate to.

  2. For a second I thought you were going to say the space program was just a big waste of money, which is kind of what Congress said when they canceled the last three moon missions in the midst of the hugely expensive, wasteful and ultimately, failed adventure in military-industrial complex mission creep in Vietnam.

    Since many were saying, well, we beat the Russians in the space race, so now let’s get on with more practical things like filling the already overflowing pockets of our giant corporations and their stockholders, many others listened and thus NASA had to scramble for legitimacy with new, slimmed down programs.

    I, at the time, was way more interested in the actual scientific component of going to space and couldn’t care less about what the Russians were doing, nor about trying to win a massive, misguided land war in Asia we had been warned about not getting into in the first place. I was very nearly drafted, so there was a personal concern, certainly. But not a political one.

    So, I am thrilled that we are going back to lunar space and I hope to see much of the knowledge that we gain from the next series of missions. I get to relive a bit of my youth, perhaps!

  3. I told NASA that I’d be willing to go but they said that they’d already made the spacesuits. Apparently it’s a custom fit for each spacesuit and take years to make and I’d missed the deadline to get my measurements taken … there was something to about needing to have gone through years of training too.

    1. What a shame. You’d have been a real asset when they got around to assembling sheds on the moon. Not to mention providing quilts for everyone. Yeah, you might have been a wee bit short in the training thing, but still, look at all you have to offer! 🙂

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