13 September, 2012

The Moon is Looking Back

        When was the last time you looked up at the Moon? When was the last time you had a real close up view of its surface? 50 years Kennedy delivered his historic Moon speech from Rice University in Huston. The quest for the Moon didn’t necessarily start out as a peaceful effort. Peaceful efforts do not receive the type of funding necessary to plan a Moon mission. NASA’s current budget is too small to even go beyond low Earth orbit. We were at war with Soviet Russia and our pride was far superior to our quest for peace. Still, Kennedy’s Moon speech gave hopes of a greater future in space. "For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the Moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace…We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding."-John F. Kennedy 
(Watch my latest iReport, a tribute to Neil Armstrong, published by CNN )

        Since that date presidents have made promises in spaceflight that reside outside of their potential time as president. Many of those promises have a vision with ambition, but not the funding to back that vision. This is the struggle of NASA. This is why the agency is fading away in the eyes of the public, just as the Moon fades into the morning skies. 
        I am constantly watching for the Moon at night, and even in the day when it is faint, almost blending in with the pale blue sky. The excitement of seeing the Moon even with the most amateur equipment, such as a small telescope, binoculars, and even a camera lens, can inspire anyone who gets their first view of a crater with their own eye. The other day I captured a photo of the Moon in a cosmic dance with Venus. Our closest neighbors look back on us, floating through space…just out of our reach. I wish to share some photos I have taken of the moon over the years. Enjoy.