Hard to believe, but soon enough there will be no man left alive who had gone where no man had gone before: to the surface of the Moon:
It’s hard to write these words and know what they might feel like 50 years from now. I never dreamed, when Apollo astronauts left the moon in 1972, that there might come a day when there was nobody still alive who had been to the moon. But now it seems that could come to pass. How heartbreaking is that? You could say that we have reached the sea, the very icy and black sea between us and the stars. Whether we will ever cross that sea nobody can say.
But the inventory of major planets — whether you count Pluto as one of those or not — is about to be done. None of us alive today will see a new planet up close for the first time again. In some sense, this is, as Alan Stern, the leader of the New Horizons mission, says, “the last picture show.”
Maybe the dream of heading into space has disappeared because the movies, video games and virtual-reality playthings can take us there without having to leave our seats. Why risk your life to improve or save mankind when you can watch Interstellar?
I can remember my father waking me up at 2 or 3 in the morning to watch the coverage of the Ranger probes sending pictures of the moon back before crashing into it. In school, we used to get a television set up to watch space launches. Now, we have to beg a ride from an enemy just to get into space.
It will take decades to recover from the deterioration caused by this administration.