Man’s penchant for innovation is only surpassed by his drive to explore. Earlier this week, the Curiosity Rover had a safe landing on Mars. But, most importantly, SpaceX has been chosen and committed to a first manned Mission to Mars by 2015:
Through all this triumph, the greatest sentiment to echo is that of hope. Some day soon we will go to Mars. And I found myself asking the same question again: How much would you pay for the Universe?
By far not a simple question. Yet it had to be asked because the Universe, indeed the future, has a definite and consumate value.
For me, the answer is simple: “I would give it all.” Every breath, every waking dream, every moment…
Every moment for one chance to ensure that our children and our children’s children have what we’ve had…“a chance”.
A chance to look to the stars. A chance to dream of tomorrow. A chance to look to Destiny with eyes wide open. A chance to stand with Fate in earnest and confidence.
How much would you pay for the Universe?
Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin…
These men would have given us their lives that we too could have a chance. As Fate would have it, no such sacrifice was asked.
But, make no mistake, the people who supported their flight beyond…The people who helped them reach the stars were prepared - should Fate have decided otherwise.
In Event of Moon Disaster
Here’s a transcript from July 18, 1969 in the event that there was a moon disaster:
To: H. R. Haldeman
From: Bill Safire
IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nations; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But, these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon for the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT:
The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.
AFTER THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHERE NASA ENDS COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEN:
A Clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to “the deepest of the deep,” concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.
The original letter:
Mankind’s most noble goal
Indeed, “the search for truth and understanding” has always been mankind’s most noble goal. That was and always will be the most endearing legacy of space flight.
Simply put, space flight brings man together. It tightly binds our destinies and futures like no other aspiration.
We who are flesh and blood are made stronger by that most present desire to see beyond, to look into and through the unknown.
During the darkest nights, in your deepest dreams, What do you look too?
Or more importantly, what will our children look too? The answer to that question lives in each and every one of us.
In those deepest dreams and darkest nights…exhale. Then breathe in destiny. For now, as in days gone by, we too must be epic men.
Be willing to step into the fire. Be willing to brave the cold and the unknown. Be willing to give everything to show our children and our children’s children that we were heroes of flesh and blood.
Be willing to be epic.