Monday, June 29, 2009

Man on the Moon

I finally watched In the Shadow of the Moon this weekend. It was an inspiring movie. It reminded me of why, as a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. The movie also made me wish our current space exploration program wasn't so tepid. I was glad to find out that NASA's planning a moon base, from which we could attempt a trip to Mars. It's not surprising that this new push to return to the moon and, eventually, Mars is fueled by foreign countries' plans to travel to the moon.

"The new thing is China, and they've announced they're going to the moon. The Europeans want to go; the Russians want to go; and if we don't go, maybe they'll go with the Chinese," Mars Institute Chairman Pascal Lee said in an interview.

The U.S.S.R.'s planned lunar trip provided impetus for our original trips to the moon. The wonders of competition can aid scientific achievement, too.

The movie also reminded me what our nation - and our government - can accomplish by working resolutely on a single problem. Our success, for a moment at least, created a bond between all nations. I wonder if working on the climate-change problem could have a similar effect on the nations of the world. I doubt it, since the results won't be as dramatic and visible as the picture above.

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