Wonder and Awe.
December 7, 2012
I must have been 8,or 9, years old and I read a book of a journey to the Moon and back. The front cover of the book had a picture of a rocket standing on its tail somewhere on the Moon. How exciting the concept was for me! My Dad and I would discuss the possibility of space travel--he was a skeptic-- and I remember clearly saying to him one day that a rocket had been fired into the stratosphere and had reached the height of 47 miles, to which he responded with a question--"How far is the Moon?" Answering "about 240,000 miles" he replied "they'll never get there, even without being manned!" A few years later George pal's movie of an expedition to the moon and back was released using the identical animation, as had the book I had read some time before. Then in my teens Sputnik appeared and like most of the world's population I watched it glide silently across the heavens. My excitement was palpable, but still my Dad stuck to his guns. Avidly following the manned space program, imagine how much I wanted to "kick butt" when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon--and came back!!! Yep, I was vindicated in my beliefs and my Dad had to eat crow. My concept of the world was of positivity, adventure and exploration of Space leading into a golden age for civilisation. Since then, what has happened? My personal dreams for the future of Mankind have been dashed, and stagnation and negativity surrounds all endeavours.Mankind spends all his time squabbling--fighting wars and battling with the world's economys. The positivity we all felt and enjoyed of 40+ years ago has been lost! How sad that there is no more "wonder and awe".
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.