Opinion piece first appeared in Jacobin on 24 September, 2012.
The death of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, has unleashed wistful, “Where is my jetpack?” lamentation in some parts of the press, shocked into a realization that it’s been over 40 years since one of the greatest achievements of mankind – a bold feat of engineering in the service of irrepressible human curiosity and wanderlust. There’s been little advance out into the solar system since.
Martin Robbins in the Guardian issued a brilliant polemic attacking our abandonment of space, reminding us: “Nobody born since 1935 has stepped on another world,” and, sadder still: “The first man on the Moon will never meet the first man on Mars.”
Similar regret can found in the words of the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, on the passing of his friend: “I had truly hoped that on July 20th, 2019, Neil, Mike and I would be standing together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing, as we also anticipated the continued expansion of humanity into space, that our small mission helped make possible. Regrettably, this is not to be.” Continue reading →