Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong and the end of the lunar era

I was eating lunch today downtown when I scrolled through my Facebook feed on my phone and learned that Neil Armstrong had died.

Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and The Beatles may be huge cultural icons across the globe, but they might not be remembered 500 years from now. History will always remember Neil Armstrong.

His lunar landing represented a breathtaking advance by all of human kind. We had finally left this planet in order to explore others far away.

I was thinking about this a month or so ago when the 43rd anniversary of the lunar landing arrived.

There have only been 12 men who have walked on the moon. All of them were Americans involved with the NASA Apollo space programs. Now only 8 of them are still alive, and they are all getting to an advanced age -- with all of them being between 76 and 82 years old.

Someday soon we will lose our last astronaut, and the world will be a worse place because of it.

It will be the end of the lunar era, as it seems there is no desire or rush by government leaders to return to the moon when we can simply send rovers to Mars and maybe beyond.

The lunar landing was an event that changed human history.

It makes me sad that we may not see anything like it ever again.

I don't care if we land a rover on Jupiter or Saturn. It won't be the same.

History will always remember the words of Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.

"Houston: Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

They are eight of the most important words ever spoken by any human being in history.