It was a gag line spoken by Jackie Gleason on “The Honeymooners” in 1955-56. Who knew that about 14 years later, we’d be there?
Then, like the family dog after it’s chased the squirrel from the back yard, we got bored. Time to eat and take a nap—a nap of Rip van Winkle proportions.
This date in 1969—nearly a half century ago—men walked on the moon. Talk about “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Wow!
If those who are wasting their time figuring out how to create some new financial derivative that no one can decipher were focusing instead on “Space, the final frontier,” where might we be?
There are a few—Musk, Branson, and Rutan, for example, who see the future, but too many only see the next fiscal quarter or the next election cycle.
No one knows or even cares about the bean counter who handled the financing for Christopher Columbus’s three ships sailing to west, but we know Columbus.
Who financed Samuel F.B. Morse, Alexander Bell, or Thomas Edison? Who signed Albert Einstein’s paychecks? What about Marie Curie or Hedy Lamarr (without whom you wouldn’t have cell phone technology—and yes THAT Hedy Lamarr).
We don’t care.
But we do remember and revere the accomplishments of these explorers, scientists, and inventors.
So, where are you headed?
The technological changes fueled by the quest from the moon fueled many spin off technologies. Navigational, electronic and medical to mention a few. It seems that the country went to a social economic focus after landing on the moon. The economic benefits were not realized by the masses and the interest waned. I remember the Gemini missions from when I was a boy watching the launches space walks and docking. That was a time of wonderment. Then the Apollo fire, Apollo 7, Apollo 8 going to the moon and returning. The Apollo 11 party in the neighborhood, Most of the Neighbors were engineers and veterans of the greatest generation aspirations were high though the nation was tired from the Vietnam war.The general public did not understand the ramifications of what the benefits of the space race. Education was hit hard, although the budgets were pared for other moon shots NASA seemed to hang on. We really need to energize NASA again and set the bar high for future generations. These were the heroes of our generation.