Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Moon Day - If they can put a man on the moon why can't they...

A phrase that has struck fear into the hearts of designers and engineers everywhere - "If they can put a man on the moon, why can't they ..." - fill in your favorite seemingly simple task or device. I think that the men putting men on the moon had a few more resources than the rest of us.

Today is the 36th anniversary of man landing on the moon. July 20th, 1969 is one of those dates dividing everything before from everything after. My parents tell me that I watched the first steps on television, though I was only 6 months old. It seems like a long time ago, and we haven't fulfilled the future promised. Where are the cities in space and on the moon? When will man walk on Mars. Many a great novel has been written about this longing. Stephen Baxter has revisited this longing with his books Titan, Voyage and Moonseed. I daresay the Space Age yet continues when the daily activities of the satellites we put up to take our phone calls, take pictures from above and track our locations are commonplace, though still amazing.

On the other hand, back then one might not have predicted the Information Age with the Internet and cell phones and the continuing upward progress of mankind and its gadgets. We may yet get our flying cars and orbital cities, but they will have bluetooth and wi-fi and artificial intelligence.

I agree with the others that this day should be an international holiday. Look up tonight and remember that we touched that moon up there.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." -Neil Armstrong

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