Monday, July 20, 2009
Adventure for its own sake ... and for science
When I was a little girl, we would lie out in the back yard, or on the hood of the car, and stare at the moon, trying to see lunar landers. Mom never told us it was ridiculous for us to try to look, that we'd never see it. She never pretended she saw it, or tried to give us false hope. She just allowed it. She patiently listened as we came in to tell her our stories, sure we'd seen it. She ignored bedtimes, when Apollo missions were working. She made sure that we got to watch them on TV, every single time, every launch, every moon landing, every splashdown in the ocean at the end. It was part of the fabric of my childhood.
I hope we never stop adventuring for the sake of science ... for the sake of adventure, either. But for science.
This picture of Neil Armstrong after his first Apollo moonwalk, or EVA, on July 20, 1969, is one of my all-time favorite astronomy-related photos. Look at his face: It is glowing with rich delight.
(.... One small step for a man ....)