Does anyone else feel that NASA needs a spanking? If I was an angry, abusive father, and NASA was my naughty little boy, I’d whoop him good. Going back to the moon is cool and all, but why is it going to take us another 13 years? Sure, we’re going to throw in a few more tricks the second time around. We’ll stay there longer, have newer, spiffier toys, prep ourselves for Mars and whatnot. But THIRTEEN YEARS? More than a decade to prepare for what we already did over thirty years ago.
My parents saw the first moon landing when they were 21. I’ll be 38 before I get to see one. Something seems wrong here. For one thing, Disneyland has been lying to us for years. Where is our space age future? The kind where rockets to the moon are as common as subway trains. Where are all the robot butlers and Astro Cola? Where are our shiny silver leotards?
I blame the Russians. They go and ditch communism, try on a spotty version of democracy, and lose their superpower status. Now they’re a neutered, defanged version of what they once were. They don’t scare us, and consequently, we don’t feel like we have to beat them at everything. With the Russians off our backs, we forget all about the moon.
I can imagine what people thought, staring up at Armstrong taking those first steps. I’m sure many imagined that by the year 2018, they could purchase a summer home on Venus, or go for a Sunday drive along the rings of Saturn. Well, sorry, people of 1969, you were horribly mistaken. 50 years later, it'll just be the moon again. That's right -- a bright, shining future of summer reruns.