Moon 50th anniversary
A few people have asked me why I haven't posted content relating to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. It's a good question.
I remember watching telecasts of the moonwalks. We were all sitting cross-legged on the floor of a combined classroom, watching a huge black and white television on an impossibly tall trolley. We had a sense of history.
I guess there are two main reasons why I'm not posting Apollo content. The first is that there is no shortage of posts, tweets, documentaries and news articles about it, so there's no real need.
The second reason, which is probably more fundamental, is that I feel fairly ambivalent about the whole space program.
Without a doubt, the whole space race demonstrated what an entire country (or two if you include the USSR) can achieve when properly motivated. The technological advances that came out of the various programs (not just the Apollo missions, of course) were huge.
The whole purpose of the space race was military, growing out of Hitler's V2 rockets, and was really about demonstrating the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere on the globe. I suppose another advantage of it being a race to the moon was that such a deflection wasn't actual war between the two superpowers. A large advantage, I think you'd agree.
Of course, without the space race we probably wouldn’t have visited the planets, seen the things we have seen, and learned the things we have learned.
However, the cost of the program was astounding. The USA had only recently come out of the Second World War, and in relative terms, it was doing very well, not having seen any significant fighting on its own soil. But I can't help but think - would there have been a better use for the resources?
How would the world be different if the US had used its abilities to achieve less poverty and hunger and more peace and equality.
But now that we are facing a similar choice - to go to Mars or to work on problems here - will we make the same decision?