Saturday, July 20, 2019

Reflections on Apollo 11

Article Written By: Jensen Lawrence


On July 16, 1969, three men left Earth inside the most powerful rocket ever created. After a four-day journey, 50 years ago today, two of those men set foot on the Moon. In terms of distance, bravery, and impact on our species, Apollo 11 is perhaps the greatest mission to ever have been undertaken. Its effects are still felt today, and will continue to be felt far into the future.

Apollo 11 served as a brief glimpse into what our future may be. It showed us that not only can we travel to space, but we can establish ourselves on other worlds; our future is in space and is driven by science. Apollo 11 inspired millions of scientific minds at the time, and will continue to inspire millions more.

More importantly, it showed us that we can set aside our differences and unite as a species. In the depths of the Cold War, with nuclear annihilation seemingly imminent, the world every so fleetingly united to see the first man to walk on the Moon. From space, borders do not exist; we are one people with the Earth as our nation.

Apollo 11 conveyed a message of hope and excitement to the world. This excitement set in motion an urge to continue exploring, to continue pushing our boundaries beyond Earth. Apollo 11 encouraged many to dream of setting foot on another world, and these dreams will be realized for some. The drive to return to the Moon will soon culminate in missions such as NASA’s Artemis mission, and plans SpaceX has for a Moon base. This time, we are going to the Moon to stay. The drive to continue advancing the frontier has led to monumental innovations and inventions, which will take us not only to the Moon again but beyond. This drive will take us to Mars, and to the outer solar system, and one day to other stars entirely. The Moon landing ignited a flame which will fuel our journeys for years to come.

Neil Armstrong’s small step was our first step as a species outside of our cradle, venturing into another world. This small step was our first step on our way to becoming a spacefaring species. The repercussions of this step will be felt far in the future, and the words accompanying this step will be etched in the memory of humanity for eternity. The first words spoken on the Moon will forever echo on Earth.

The 50th anniversary of the Moon landing allows us to reflect upon our past, and start working for the future. Since the Moon landing, we have made great strides in fields all across STEM, and the world is a better place for it. However, we have also come closer and closer to destroying ourselves and taking the Earth with us through climate change and our inability to stop fighting. Let this day remind us what we are capable of, and what our future can be. There is a bright future for humanity out among the stars, and it is our job to work for it.

Apollo was our first step into the beyond. It will not be our last.

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