Why Orion's launch is the best news for humanity in a long time???

I have always been unhappy that I never got to see the opening of humanity's critical journey, and even sadder to recognise that in 1972 we left a path that could have perhaps gotten us to Mars and other planets by now. Today we unlocked the gate to that path again. We should celebrate—we are returning to the stars.

In the 60s we plunged our toes in the sea of space. It was thrilling. It lead to uncountable discoveries and technologies that made possible the world we have today. We immersed our toes in the waters of the cosmos but then we ran back to the sheds of that comfy beach we call Earth, frightened.

1972 patent humanity's last mission to the Moon and with it, all the positivity of the space era died. But on the edge of nuclear eradication, with the war in Vietnam raging on, our journey to the Moon saved the world's co-operative mind. As TV newsperson David Brinkley said during Apollo 8's live Christmas Eve TV special, aired from the orbit of the Moon:

"The human race, without many victories lately, had one today. 
Thank you Apollo 8.You saved 1968."

Apollo 8 also bought us this photo. It had huge consequences in humanity's common psyche, starting the environmental drive and the idea that we should jointly work to create peace on Earth. After this photo—and the Blue Marble—humans recognised, at last, that we needed to work together. Gradually, things began to alter.

They didn't alter fast enough. We are still at work on that. And thanks to despondent politics and our incapability to deal with long term plans, we abandoned the natural path that the 1960s space program opened.

It was maybe too early, like Carl Sagan said in his 1994 book The Pale Blue Dot, in lovely words brilliantly illustrated by this astonishing short film by Erik Wernquist:

We sent an wonderful rover to Mars in a apparently impossible mission that had the entire world watching with baited breath. A few weeks back, we landed on a comet. This week, we sent another spaceship to return material from an asteroid. Today we launched the spacecraft that will take humans back to the Moon, asteroids, Phobos, and Mars.

So yes, I look at Orion rising beside the deep blue, I hear the cheers coming out of my mouth and uncountable others, I see the millions of people watching this seemingly immaterial event—just a spaceship that is empty going up and splashing on the Atlantic Ocean—and it feels like the 60s all over again.

The path is open once more, a sunbeam enlightening its gates, now clean of the vines that had grown over all these years of abandonment.

Today is the day. Today we are beginning to get back to the stars. And this time there's no way back.

Source: Sploid




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