MOON-age daydream


July 21st 1969.

Where were you?

Do you really not remember?

I’m pretty certain that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the other one do. 

It has come to my attention this week that it has been 40 years since Man first stepped foot on our orbiting satellite. And in lieu of my not being able to ascertain any type of celebration or commemoration of this momentous moment in human history, this 40th Anniversary – I thought to at least make mention of it here in my blog, even if no one else is going to.

It can not be overstated what a remarkable achievement this was for all involved. Although mostly it must be said for SCIENTISTS. Indeed when President John F Kennedy made the rather foolhardy claim at the beginning of the 1960’s that by the decades end America will have put a man on the moon – he had no scientific founding for this – and was quite clearly insane to come out with such a statement. (In fact it was a Scientist who was hidden behind the fence on the grassy knoll that fateful day in Dallas, there to stop the man, before it is claimed, Kennedy was about to announce that Science would also going to establish working matter teleportation before his second term was out!)

Nevertheless despite these extravagant claims – the idea had caught the public’s imagination, and Science had been thrust into the spotlight like never before. All eyes were on NASA and Cape Canaveral, somewhat overshadowing I can’t help but feel some of the fine work that our leading British rocket Scientists were up to at the time. Indeed for a short while I was lectured during my student days by the leading British Rocket Scientist of his age, Professor Bernard Quatermass – although he was something of a raging alcoholic by this stage and often subject to making wild claims about giant lettuces from outer space and Martians on the London Underground!

Still I often get asked nowadays why we have not returned to the moon. Indeed the last recorded mission to the lunar surface took place in 1972, now some 37 years ago. It does sadden me that such great scientific endeavour and achievement was not capitalised upon more immediately and effectively – who knows, had things worked out differently – if I might not have been writing this very blog to you now from the surface on another world.

There was a brief flirtation at the Human Institute to initiate a trip to the moon only a few years ago – but many of our students parents balked at the increase in their children’s tuition fees to fund such a field trip – we fell somewhat short of our £5 billion pound target – I even sat in a bathtub of Baked Beans for 24 hours to try and raise funds – nevertheless the resulting money raised did go towards providing a table tennis table in the staff canteen room.


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