[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0014LBY6I” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51P3dslyE4L._SL160_.jpg” width=”116″]”You Will Go To The Moon” – this isn’t a question, or a suggestion, it’s a statement, presumably of fact. If you’re old enough you may even recognize the phrase as the title of a popular children’s book. In the pre-Apollo era and even in the immediate years afterwards it was inspiring children around the world. Backed up with televised Moon landings and enthused media conjecture about where we’d be living in the 21st century, the book was a promise. I was reminded of the promise just a few nights ago when talking with a fresh aerospace engineering graduate at a dinner party.
The graduate was lamenting the scarcity of jobs in aerospace so I asked whether they’d considered the space industry.
Oh, well, OK, although it does seem to be a growth industry. There followed a somewhat tortured discussion where few people there seemed to recall much about the Apollo era and no one had heard of SpaceX, Golden Spike, Mars One, or the Google LunarX Prize. There was barely a shrug when I suggested the day may come when crewed Moon landings were mere stories from the “olden days” and there would be no living human who had set foot on the surface.
I begin to fear something I first heard from Elon Musk in a recent interview. he suggested that we needed to get to Mars as soon as possible because there was no guarantee that humanity would continue to possess the required technology. This may be a slim window of opportunity before the world falls back into chaos or lethargy. That’s a grim thought.
So, You Will Go To The Moon. I vividly remember reading that book over and over. A little Google search shows that I was one of many inspired by the book and also disappointed the promise wasn’t realized. As one reviewer stated: “I considered this book a contractual agreement!”
First edition from 1959 (based on the vision of Werner Von Braun) fetch around $150. The book can also be found on Amazon. It’s worth reading the reviews for a touch of nostalgia and melancholy:
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For more “what might have been” torture, here’s a 1955 trailer for the movie ” “Conquest of Space” and it’s promise that everything you see will come to pass sometime before the year 2000:
Were you one of the “promised” ? Let me know in the comments.