As we enter 2019 there is a lot of uncertainty, Brexit, Trump’s Whitehouse, China’s economy, crashing stock markets to name but a few. However 2019 is also the 50th Anniversary of the magnificent moon landings when mankind took its first tentative steps into the Universe with courage and conviction.
As we celebrate this great achievement an unmanned Nasa probe – ‘New Horizons’ will be approaching a tiny rocky world :- ‘Ultima Thule’ is only 30km wide & is 6.5 billion kilometres from Earth, situated in the Kuiper belt a band of frozen material that orbits the Sun. Ultima is a further billion miles beyond Pluto & is the farthest body in our Solar System to be surveyed.
The intention is to beam back to Earth images & data from the probe in the early hours of the New Year.
Over the decades NASA has contributed a massive amount of invaluable knowledge for ‘the benefit of all mankind’ – long may it continue.
Today we are celebrating the 45th anniversary of the 1969 moon landings when human beings first set foot on an alien world after travelling from Earth in a tin can piloted by a computer significantly less powerful than the phone on which I type this Blog.
In an era before the Internet, mobile phones, social media or google, when a basic computer was the size of a terraced house a record TV audience of billions tuned in from Alaska to Antarctica & humanity was one family, huddled together on the Worlds sofa, holding their collective breath as tentative steps were taken on a far off world….”one small step for a man….a giant leap for mankind”
Neil Armstrong will forever be remembered for his unique achievement of being the first human being to set foot on another planet. His famous quote ” that’s one small step for man, a giant leap for mankind” is burned forever in our collective memory and recalls a seemingly simpler age of great optimism and opportunity when anything could be achieved given the right determination. Armstrong had that “right stuff” is spades and was an inspiration to millions of scientists and engineers the world over.
His lifestyle after his momentous Lunar achievements and his decision to deliberately shun the limelight stands in sharp contrast to that of lesser “celebrities” who’s achievements paled in significance next to his but who crave attention like spoiled children.
Let us remember Neil Armstrong as his family wish……
” Next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down on you, think of Neil and give him a wink“