Just yesterday I was talking to Dylan about it. Our conversation was about our favorite movies (Saving Private Ryan) which led to a conversation about Tom Hanks, which in turn turned to a conversation about the movie Apollo 13. By the time we were done, I had talked about the moon missions and how I wished I was old enough to have watched and remembered. I expanded on how I used to cut class to see shuttle launches and landings.
I've always been in love with space exploration and still try to see launches, missions and landings on nasa.tv whenever I can. Perhaps that has fed my love of Star Trek and Star Wars, or maybe it is the other way around.
Space travel, to me, represents one of the great human achievements. When I look up into the night sky, I can't imagine that we [the collective humanity 'we'] actually walked on the moon. I just find that astounding that we launched a spaceship, landed it on a heavenly body, launched it off that body and returned it safely to earth. It is an awe inspiring achievement and one that I have personally yearned for our country to repeat in my lifetime.
Now, God willing, it seems that I may actually get my wish. Several years ago, President Bush announced an aggressive plan to put man back on the moon, and eventually Mars. I believe he was derided for that announcement, but I celebrated it. Apparently, so did NASA. They've been making progress to that end with their Orion delivery vehicle.
In fact, by as soon as 2015, we'll have vehicles launching for an eventual return to the moon by 2020. Assuming funding remains, we could realistically be on Mars by 2050 [my guess]. I would be 81-years old-by then.
Statistically speaking, the chance that I would be alive to see that is good.
And what a sight that would be...