Today's Apollo Program
image credit: Earthrise, taken on December 24, 1968, by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders
- Jul 16, 2019 12:59 pm GMT
- 466 views
Today sees the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 and its crew of Neil Armstrong, "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins, leading to the the Moon landing, a time of great ambition & accomplishment.
More recently I have read many targets & predictions of a more terrestrial nature: so many GW of renewable energy generation capacity, for markets of so many billions of dollars per annum, and so on, all achieved over the next 20 or 30 years, each target & prediction bigger than the last, fulfilled over a shorter timescale than before. We are supposed to be impressed.
And yet we read the US Government has resigned itself to apocalyptic climate change scenarios, & cites their inevitability to justify its own inaction. We confront accelerating devastation, as ice melts faster than anticipated, tundra belches methane, flora wither & fauna falter faster than they can adapt, & those of us looking to the heavens for the next great asteroid need look no further than the extinctions we ourselves visit upon the Earth for the omens of catastrophe.
The clock is ticking and there is no time to lose. The targets that are supposed to impress us are in fact orders of magnitude too low, even while we congratulate ourselves for the Lilliputian pole-vaults these tiddly-winks targets represent.
Once upon a time a man landed on the Moon, & was returned safely to Earth. What Earth awaits the voyager that would depart for the Moon today? 50 years after a man walked on the Moon for the first time, let us commit ourselves to achieving this goal: before this decade is out, we will establish humans safely here on Earth. Let this be today's Apollo Program.