A Child of Apollo

I can remember sitting in the back yard, age maybe 10, with my brother really honestly and truly staring up at the moon.  It was the mid-60s and the Apollo moon program was going hot and heavy.  I was a space geek.  Before I had a car I knew about everything you could know about rockets and space flight that you could get from Scientific American and Popular Science.  It might explain my aerospace engineering degree.  I imagined that by the time I was 40, it would be possible to go to the moon commercially.  That’s the way things work.  Explorers were followed by the settlers were followed by tourists.

We didn’t have video games back then.  We had books.  And mine were science fiction.  Fantasy was a separate genre then from the hard core space opera I read.  Because we were going to the stars.  We were going to become a space faring culture.  Like the Phoenicians, or the Polynesians or even the Vikings, we were going to spread and grow, because that is how life works.  Adventures galore awaited.  The battle against the absolutely unforgiving elements so foreign to our cradle Earth.  Our wit and gumption and inventiveness and technology against vacuum and radiation and lifeless rock.

I imagined a future of expansion an growth and conquest and the best of humanity unleashed against a hostile uncaring universe.  Spreading life were there was none.  Pioneering upwards and outwards from a country that no longer had a westward.  But my imagination failed me.

I never imagined that we would not go back.

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