Forty years ago this morning, Apollo 11 was launched: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were on their way to land at Mare Tranquilitatis, in the most significant journey in human history to this date.
The scary part is that this year also marks the 37th anniversary of the last trip to the Moon, indeed the last voyage by a human being beyond low Earth orbit.
I was only 6 when Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon, and I had no doubt in my mind that by the time I turn 46, there would be people on the Moon, on Mars, possibly on select satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, perhaps even on their way to the stars.
Now that I am 46, I am doubtful that I will live long enough to see another human fly beyond low Earth orbit. This is not a pleasant thought. Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to live another 40 years in good physical and mental health, and get a chance to be proven wrong.
Until then, I keep dwelling on the irony of the fact that nowadays, most of the documentaries you can find on manned deep space missions and exploration of the Moon are aired on the History Channel.