Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

A woman on The Moon.

This month sees the 50th anniversary of The Moon landings, in 1969. When I woke up today, I was thinking about that, and the sheer scale of Space, as we understand it. And that’s the second time this year I have done that, and been prompted to write about it here.

I was seventeen years old at the time, and watched it on television, along with everyone else on Earth who had access to a TV set. To be honest, I was unimpressed. I didn’t think it looked much like The Moon as I imagined it, and the limited walkabouts gave me no impression of size, or any vast landscape to admire the strangeness of.

Maybe that sounds churlish, to not be impressed by what so many believe to be mankind’s greatest achievement? Sorry if it does, but I wasn’t, and I am still indifferent to it. Even as a teenager, I just could’t see the point of it. All that time, and a huge amount of money, just spent to land some men on an uninhabitable rock. Science and exploration were the reasons given at the time. We would learn so much, discover wonders, and change the future for the better.

I didn’t buy that. It was just about who got there first, and which flag was raised before any other.

It wasn’t too long before I happily joined in with the conspiracy theorists. Did they actually go? Was it all possibly filmed on a secret film set, tucked away in some remote part of America? The footage sent back was ‘limited’ at best. It could certainly have been a set, there was no doubt about that. But although I still have some nagging doubts, I was captivated by later views of The Earth from space, and on balance, I believe they did go.

But I still believe it was ultimately pointless, and that so much more could have been done with the vast amounts of money spent on what was ultimately a ‘vanity project’.

Like most people, I am rather fascinated by the size of the Universe. The stars are amazing, and the incomprehensible distances involved are impossible to imagine. Fifty years later, and we have satellite technology, space junk floating around, and talk of a new mission, Artemis, in 2024. This time, they want to put a woman on The Moon. I am all for equal opportunities, but I think that a country with a health care crisis, unresolved environmental issues, and a propensity to invade any other country they don’t like could find a better use for the (at least) $30 BILLION it will cost.

But it will be a woman on The Moon. And an American woman, of course.

I’m no scientist, but it seems to me that fifty years later, they have learned nothing.

52 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. Bavarians want to go to space too. Maybe they need/ want to create an arch, when civil war is capturing Europe. πŸ˜‰ Just airing here, policemen and other states related people in Bavaria were last year attacked so often as never before. After DJT’s “special actions” against Germany’s holy cow, the automotive industries, here some people going crazy. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was only four at the time, and although my father used to talk about watching it, I have no memory of it. I totally see your point, although I also agree that globally money is not an issue, it’s a matter of what we do with the resources we have, and we’re doing very badly. I’m always for increasing knowledge and doing research, but physically sending people to the moon doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose. Have a fantastic week, Pete. I always think of the last scene of the Incredible Shrinking Man when I think about the universe and how tiny we are…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Olga. I know this is an issue that tends to divide opinion, and I am always interested to see what kind of comments are generated by such posts.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. I just finished the book Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins who piloted the Command Module Columbia on the Apollo 11 Mission, and was the one who didn’t walk on the moon. He gives an inside account of the mission, the astronauts and the programs that preceded Apollo. It’s a wonderful, well written, and fascinating book, but after reading it, I can’t see any good reason to return to the moon. It’s an absolutely barren and uninhabitable rock, best enjoyed from planet Earth I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are some great comments here Pete, but I have to agree with those who feel (as I do) that the money would be better spent protecting our own planet. Otherwise in 50 years or so there won’t be any humankind to even wonder about what’s out there!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha how weird as the same thing happened to Phil and I, we both kept nodding off but really wanted watch it!! We just switched off when it happened and went back the next day, took us 2 weeks at 20 mins a day!! 🀣

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, we’ll have to disagree, here. I remember being six and my Mom plopping me down in front of the television to watch the historic event. It captured my fancy then and still does now. I don’t know if you’ve seen ‘First Man’. It was great for the take off scenes and time spent on the moon. It also reigned in the controversy surrounding spending the money versus feeding the poor, etc. I think the landing symbolizes the best of America and what we stand for. AlltheStarTrektie ins, the notion we are small and the universe is huge and yet we seek out new life and civilizations. Well, it’s corny. But I find it admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cindy. No, I haven’t seen ‘First Man’, but I have heard it’s a great film. I didn’t expect many (or any) Americans to agree with my take on this, in all honesty. But I do like to encourage ‘debate’, as you know. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just a few words more. You cite the health care crises in America as an example of how the money spent on space could be better spent on earth. You cite big corporations who will get their fingers in the spice pie. I submit the health care crisis is really a crisis of health care costsβ€”they are out of sight and uncontrolled. Spending more government money on health care in the US will only drive the costs up more. No, until we decide to provide universal health care we can not control costs. As for big money getting their hands in the pie, that will continue until we begin to share the wealth. I have a proposal for that, it is called Democratizing Money Monetizing Citizens.

    It may not solve all the big money problems, but it will be a start. Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I watched the moon landing on CBS, and sent off for “Man on the Moon,” the vinyl disc featuring an as-it-happened recording of Walter Cronkite’s moon landing coverage. I listened to the record once, and then stored it away. Since I’ve always been fascinated by science fiction films depicting space travel (e.g., “2001: A Space Odyssey”), returning to the moon, and eventually a first landing on Mars, is exciting stuff. Sure, that money could be spent here on Earth, but we’ve had decades to better our terrestrial lives with very little spent on the space program, and we’ve accomplished virtually nothing. So I don’t think this “vanity project” will siphon dollars away from some grandiose plan to bring about world peace and prosperity. Sorry, Pete, but I’m all for a new Age of Discovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You well may be correct about the vanity of putting one’s flag on the moon first. However, a review of what benefits in knowledge, technology, and sheer organizational problems overcome totally justify the costs of not only the moon landing but the entire space program. The loss to humanity of the past decades of inaction on that frontier is too great to estimate. No, I will not rise to the implied challenge of listing the rewards humans reaped from the enterprise, for I get the impressing they would not past muster in this venue. Warmest regards, Theo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I think, Wilma. Time enough to worry about flags on moons when there are no people in poverty, or others being refused medical treatment.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  9. I too was totally underwhelmed, crammed into the few classrooms that had a television at our high school in Australia waiting for something to happen – eventually we were all sent home to watch it properly and not miss the historical event. Of course our cynical anti American ( Vietnam – all the way with LBJ ) family did not believe it was real. The best part has been the pictures of earth, and we can do that with the International Space Station; that is a good story of international co-operation and science. What is most amazing is how much bigger the universe has got since those days!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was a young teen at the time. I was fascinated at the ability and in awe of the experience those few received. That being said, I held an opinion then that I still hold today. WHAT AN UTTER WASTE OF MONEY. With millions on this planet in need of basic necessities like food and water, with animals facing extinction, with our planet then and now being destroyed by pollution, why on G-ds green earth do we need to spend money to send anyone to the moon?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The money is a red herring. There is already way more money on the books than is accountable for in reality. In truth, if they ever need money, they simply create more of it.
    It’s actually about will and resources and whether they’re, or we, are willing to resolve all of our crises. We can do a lot more than we do.
    But, ultimately, if mankind doesn’t find a way off this planet, it’s doomed. Our future won’t thank us for ignoring it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  12. It is so much silly “exceptionalism” thingy……the Science Network has a series looking into the validity that we went…..I though it was amazing but that more should have been done…that was my feeling in my younger days…today I think it is just a chance to militarize space. chuq

    Liked by 1 person

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