This year America did something amazing we landed a rover the size of an average vehicle on the surface of mars. The NASA crew used such precise mathematics, not only did we manage to land this enormous vehicle on the surface of mars; we also managed to maneuver a satellite orbiting the planet to take images of its decent to the surface. That takes a masses amount of brain power, logistics, and some luck to achieve. All on this excitement has come after massive cuts to NASA and the total desertion of the space shuttle. There was a time that accomplishment of this magnitude would have been covered by the media for days prior to and proceeding the event. The reason for this coverage was to showcase the inventive spirit of our country and to show that we are capable of things once thought impossible. It has been just 43 years ago our country sent two men to the moon and it inspired a whole new generation of scientist. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” the late Neil Armstrong proclaimed, while people huddle around television set or listen to the announcement on the radio. It was a little over 60 years before man landed on the moon that Henry Ford introduced the word to the first affordable mass produced vehicle.
In a little over sixty years we went from a car that barely could reach a speed fast enough to hit the minimum speed limit of city roads today, to a vehicle that delivered a man to the moon. Then 43 years later, we landed a rover roughly the size of the model T on the surface of mars. At one time this would have been headline news but as the focus on ingenuity, innovation, and out of the box thinking has slipped. The headlines of this rover and its predecessors faded quicker than a Jersey Shore cast member becoming pregnant. The dreams of America have slipped somewhere, while thousands of us have tried to accomplish our own dreams. Yet, we have become almost trumped out of it almost figuratively and literally. When those people huddled around the television sets to get the announcement that America had put a man on the moon. Those people watch for hope of things to come, a gleam of thought of unimaginable things became possible. It wasn’t just about science; it was about hope for the future. Not hope for fame, fortune, or material objects but much deeper hope came out of it. All in a time where the Vietnam War was becoming even more deadly than the previous years, the draft, segregation, was upon the people of these great states. Putting that man on the moon made all the big problems seem not so hard to fix anymore. People actually looked at it as a means to an end of many social problems of the country. If we can put a man on the moon they would think then we can do anything.
Now it is 43 years later than when the moon seemed almost impossible to reach and we have not only reach it but flown past it. No one huddled around the television, no one talked about it on the news more than a few minutes. There was no excitement, there was no feeling of we could do anything. We could have put Henry Ford’s first Model T on the surface of mars that got 19-21 MPG and not even a day of news coverage. For some reason the spirit of truly amazing accomplishments has left us as a Nation. The new Iphone release will surely get more news time and had it not been for the space program and those amazing accomplishments there wouldn’t be an Iphone. Gas will surely hit five dollars a gallon or come close to it while we landed that vehicle on mars but for some reason we can’t come up with a sustainable energy alternative car. We have auto companies terrified of having to come up with getting better than 40 MPG in newer vehicles in the near future even though the Model T we could have landed on the mars surface got 21 MPG when first designed a little over 100 years ago. Cheers to our forward progressing future of humanity and sciences. Some of us are still watching and hoping those great minds that perform such amazing things help the country realize we can solve the problems of today with the technologies of tomorrow.