Today saw the news that Neil Armstrong had passed away at age 82.
Say what you will about Neil Armstrong, but his passing has left our world the poorer for it. For a time we all dared to dream of what may be possible.
As a 12 year old I lived a breathed space exploration. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t know about it, including the race to be the first on the Moon and show up the Russians. It was the Cold War Era and this was the greatest race of them all, and the greatest achievement mankind had ever undertaken.
We even had ice blocks that came in a small Mercury of Gemini space capsule container.
There was daily reports on the progress of Apollo 11 at the time, and as it transpired we were sitting in our classroom and the teacher stopped what he was teaching and turned up the radio so we could all listen to the moon landing. Since that time there have been many amazing technological advances in many areas of human endeavour, but for the time being they all pale in comparison to mankind actually leaving the planet and setting foot on another celestial body. There are many who say that the effort to do this was a flagrant waste of resources, especially as the western allies were engaged in a pseudo war in Vietnam, opposing the slow creep of the communists of China.
Sometimes it takes a great deal of effort and daring to push the boundaries of what is possible, and from this we now have technologies that could only have happened from the advent of the space race and the following work done by the world’s space communities.
Is the world a better place than when I was 12? Sadly no, little has changed, we still have rampant poverty, war, disease, hunger, political instability and somewhere along the line we also seem to have lost the will to dream big and achieve even greater things.
A modern day Titan has fallen and it seems unlikely that we will see his (and his compatriots like) again for a very long time.
R.I.P Neil, as long as I live you wont be forgotten.