The moon was bright and bold this new years eve. And considering we had a spa full of space geeks that included our traveling companions from the total solar eclipse and one who wanted to come but woosed out at the last minute … and dont we rub it in that he didn’t go and missed the greatest show on earth that day ….. it was not surprising that our alcohol induced wacky conversation turned to the space program.
Ahh the moon, we haven’t been back since 1972. Why is that? Nothing much to go back for? A risk averse population? Been there got the tshirt? It’s a tricky question and one that plagues space geeks around the world. It makes for great conspiracy theories and interesting conversation on the dawning of a new year. We meandered our way around the benefits of the space station, wether NASA had sorted out how to combat radiation in space and how cool it was that we have Curiosity roving around Mars. But then in the semi fog of our cleansing ales at 2am we came to a standstill on what was next and how on earth were we going to get there? Of course, there are better minds than ours pondering the exact same question (and most likely coming up with real answers), but there is a damn lot of space up there and not much in between that we can explore.
Thinking very simplisticly at that time of the evening – Of our planets in the solar system, 4 are rocky, ones we can land on. 2 are uninhabitable due to their proximity to the sun, we live on one and the other – we we are taking baby steps to check it out. After that there are 4 gas giants mmmm, so cast your mind 50 years into the future we have a space station of sorts on Mars (and that’s a maybe – it might be too dangerous for our health and safety mentality) and then what? Now the Trekky in me comes out, well of course we have warp drive by then or at least we are working on it.
NASA is discovering all kinds of everything all the time. They just don’t tell us about it. They have explorers that head to every corner of the globe looking for clues to how our universe works, planes that circle the earth collecting space dust. They find new minerals and make discoveries that might just be the key to deep space travel – is Brownleeite going to help make our next giant leap? Maybe not but it’s cool anyway.
In the 60’s when we had a dream to go the moon, “not because it was easy but because it was hard”, we had a generation of young people that were creative and daring. As a collective, we pushed the envelope, we didn’t worry about too much of anything except getting the job done. Now we see this same creative and daring but in individuals. Extreme sports take the place of building rockets and flying to the moon while the collective create more legislation on why we shouldn’t do anything at all……….
We were sitting in the spa after nearly all our guests had gone home for the evening … a little tipsy … it was a beautiful summer night, with clear skies and hope for the wonders of what the new year would bring.