Archive for the ‘Amazing Moon’ Category

First Steps…

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

We have only just taken our first steps out of this cradle we call Earth, as Carl Sagan said (paraphrased) – we have just dipped our toe into the celestial seas and we are taking our own good time about it!

When I was born 1981 it was less than a decade since the last human had set foot on the moon, how they got there and the speed at which they achieved it, is a quiet astonishing story – one which I will be covering in detail over the next two weeks. But I will give you a spoiler – we almost didn’t make it and it has even been suggested that it all went too quickly and happened too soon – both us and our technology where not ready. A statement which is not in my opinion completely false.

The way we went may not have been the best but it was still amazing none the less and though I agree that most missions should be remote sensing, robots and general observations – I can’t help but dream of being up there, standing on a surface of smashed and pulverise moon rock and collecting my own samples. As a child I truly thought that I would get to walk on the moon and possibly even Mars, I would collect rocks and maybe find signs of aliens… as a kid these things seemed achievable and I wanted to go.

I wanted to go even though my first real memory of space flight was the Challenger Shuttle Explosion – I’m not sure but I think we may have been watching it live – I was certainly excited. I would have been about 5 years old and must have been following it from before the disaster as I knew all about Christa McAuliffe one of the astronauts on board. I was young but the disaster hit me hard – I knew they were dead and yet still I wanted to go, I still wanted to go and explore other worlds even knowing I might not get there.

This sentiment was echoed by my own child a few years ago at the Cheltenham Science Festival when at a talk with one of my old lectures from university the question was asked – who after hearing all the horrible stuff that could happen to you would still want to go to Mars? – she put her hand up. Fear is a very real thing to need to face in anything we do, as individuals and as communities and societies and even as a species. Not everyone has the same level of acceptable risk and this too is a good thing – if we were all dare devils then things would be bloody and chaotic and wasteful and if we were all cautious and weary about everything then we just simply would starve to death too scared to leave our nests to find food.

Life is a balance – space exploration also needs this balance – a fusion of caution and a thirst to GET OUT THERE.

And I think after a rocky ride of ups and downs that is actually where the space exploration and industry and governments are at. And yes there are many things to discuss about the hows and whys – should it be governments, corporations, individuals or charities/foundations that lead the way?

These are all thorny questions which I hope to go into more depth in during Moon Mania.

For now though I think on the fact that we took our first steps into the unknown and have just kept going and now… not only do we have people floating around in orbit around us but we have sent robots to act as are arms and legs and eyes to other WORLDS – yes plural for though we have not returned to the Moon we have still been watching and recording and we have set our sites further with landers scouring the Martian surface and Voyager having left our solar system all together.

Space… here we come!

Pinterest Moon Mania Board

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Images, pictures and photos can be incredibly powerful and connect faster and more ubiquitously than words, so taking that into account I am setting up a Moon Mania Pinterest board.

You can have a little look at it here :)