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40 Years Ago The Moon, Tomorrow… Mars?

On July 21, everyone celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the first ever moon landing. Yeah, we’ve all seen the footage and pretty much know the story behind Apollo 11, but it’s still an accomplishment to celebrate.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMINSD7MmT4[/youtube]

The moon landing was a huge deal for America in 1969. It may not mean much to us now, but it was a landmark moment in our history. The moon landing came during a rather tumultuous time for the U.S. We had a lot on our plates, like Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement and that little thing called the Cold War with those sneaky Russians.

The moon landing helped unify the nation in one awe inspiring moment. We put aside our differences because we beat the Soviets in the “Space Race” and fulfilled a promise made by JFK earlier in the decade

While America hasn’t really had a moment since the moon landing, we gained a lot of pride, knowledge and made science class a lot more interesting from achieving it. Here’s what we can look forward to now that 40 years have passed since Neil Armstrong delivered his immortal lines.

Mars.

mars

Yup, the Red Planet could be man’s next destination, if the original Apollo 11 crew get their way.

On July 19, the original crew spoke to an intimate crowd at the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural Air and Space Museum. The crew really didn’t reflect on the biggest moment of their lives, instead they spoke of Mars.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, said that we should “boldly go again on a new mission of exploration”. Pilot Michael Collins, who is probably bitter that he didn’t walk on the moon, stated that Mars is interesting, not the moon. Even the guy who founded and directed the mission, Christopher Kraft Jr., was on board by saying that we need to update technology to “invest in the future”.

The Apollo 11 crew is also concerned that NASA is too much invested into returning to the moon, this time by setting up a space station as an alternative to the space shuttle. Aldrin, and the other members, want President Obama and America to use the moon as a stepping stone for missions beyond. They want to see explorations to the Martian moon Phobos, Mars, and even the asteroid Apophis, which could hit Earth someday (I hope they’re not getting any Armageddon ideas and planning to send Bruce Willis to drill a hole in Apophis to nuke it).

A mission to Mars could be cool, but only if the first man on MarsĀ  says “Welcome to the party Richter” as he sets foot on the Red Planet.

Until we get to somewhere beyond the moon, I suggest that you play around on the freshly launched Moon in Google Earth. It looks pretty awesome, if you’re into science.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHJ77RsnFXI[/youtube]

They even already have a Google Mars, so why would anyone want to leave their house if they can visit it already? Besides, don’t these guys know that we’re in a recession too?

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