Happy 4th of July – in celebration, I’m going to share something from a while ago that I wrote talkig about space, and why we should continue to push into the unknown. One of the coolest efforts in our country’s history was the work that put us on the Moon. Definitely worth remembering on this day.
Only twenty four human beings have left Earth’s orbit; only half of those have walked on the face of another celestial body. We chose to go to the Moon for many reasons, but partially because it was difficult. It stretched our capabilities as a people and reflected some of the best qualities of humanity.
That was over 40 years ago. Since then, we have neglected our drive to explore the universe and set as ambitious a goal to guide us.
The costs of space exploration are not trivial, and it took over one hundred billion dollars to reach the Moon. For every mission and launch, another Earthly priority is set aside. But we should not forget the employment gains, economic growth, and transformative leaps in fields as far apart as computing, rocketry, and medicine that resulted from space exploration. There are also the intangibles – fulfilling humanity’s inherent desire to grow and explore, and serving as a beacon to inspire millions to study the sciences and build, create, and discover.
We live on a fragile and pale blue dot. From cataclysmic cosmic events to more familiar disasters, we face a variety of existential threats. Moving beyond the Earth itself is the best insurance policy we have to ensure that humanity endures against the passage of time.
We should challenge ourselves to dream bigger and push forward into the unknown. Do we want to be the intelligent species that never left home?