Thursday, July 16, 2009

To the moon

As I write this, it was 40 years ago, to the hour, that Apollo 11 lifted off on its voyage to land man on the moon.

I was watching the coverage on NBC, with Frank McGee hosting. On our first color TV. And, for the next several days, I was glued to the TV, watching the coverage of the moon shot. Well, except when they interrupted it to cover some silly Chappaquiddick thing where some drunk killed some woman.

The lunar coverage was fascinating. I had been watching Star Trek (also on NBC) on whatever night it came on from one week to the next. But this was REAL! We -- Americans -- were sending people to the moon!

It was an amazing and wonderful time. I turned 11 years old during the Apollo 11 mission, and was aware that, in my youth, we were landing on the moon. The future was unlimited.

That was 40 years ago.

And it's been nearly 37 years since an American last walked on the moon.

Today, we're supposed to be more technologically advanced than we were 40 years ago. And, we are. But we couldn't land a man on the moon if we wanted to.

If we were to, we'd have to throw bunches of money at it. And it'd take years to pull off.

Money and technology aren't the solution. Attitude is. Those days, America -- and particularly NASA and the astronaut program -- had a "can-do" attitude. That can-do attitude is what landed us on the moon.

It generated the money and technology to make it happen.

That's the problem today: we think money and technology are means to an end. They aren't. They're by-products of success. And attitude makes success possible.

Lot's of people today don't understand that. And worse, many don't believe it.

I believe it. I lived through it. It's real. Those of you that lived through it know what I'm talking about.

The good news is, some of you that weren't around during that time also understand and believe it.

We need more of you.

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