To The Moon, Alice

Blog 2500 – 08.29.2022

To The Moon, Alice

I was a young soldier stationed an eight hour drive away from home when men first walked on the moon. Those were exciting times, July 20, 1969, over fifty three years ago. That was Apollo 11. Today Artemus 1 will launch without a crew to closely orbit the moon and then prove the new rocket capable of flying further out into space than the old Apollo Saturn rockets ever did.

Somehow we grew bored with manned space exploration and missions to the moon became old hat. The Shuttle program also became too expensive with not enough bang for the buck. While several generations of Star Trek and Star Wars fans lined up to see the latest space adventures we seemed contented to launch satellites, probes, and larger and larger telescope into space instead of boldly going where no one has gone before.

The plan is to put a man and a woman on the moon again and begin building a permanent base there from which to launch a manned mission to Mars and hopefully beyond. After fifty years since the last men walked on the moon we are back on track to send explorers into space. A man and a woman are to walk on the dark side of the moon by 2025.

I am quickly becoming a member of the last generation that heard President Kennedy promise to put a man on the moon and bring him safely home before the decade of the nineteen-sixties concluded. John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not live to see a multitude of scientists, technicians, and astronauts make that dream come true.

I was beginning to wonder if I would live to see us go back to the moon and beyond. I have hope again than I just might make it. In this world where even “educated” people still are duped into believing conspiracy theories, one being that the moon landings were not real, but staged in a sound studio somewhere, today’s historic Artemis 1 launch does not resonate with the same enthusiasm as the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions did for Baby Boomers like myself. For many, if not most of us, Astronaut was our dream job.

When Orville Wright took that first powered flight there were many who said if mankind were meant fly that God would have given us wings. That same crowd echoes the words of James Taylor’s song, “People on the moon, my friend, a thing not meant to be.” But, I am of the same mind as the robot designer and creator in the movie “I, Robot” who figured out a way to give his creation dreams, so much more that just wings.

Every loving parent wishes his or her children to grow and go higher and farther than they ever did, or as Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyears says, “To infinity and beyond.”

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

Sweet Baby James & Long Ago And Far Away

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