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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Then, Now and the Future

Hello Troops,
On this day, July 16, America launched Apollo 11. Men were walking on the moon the summer of my eleventh birthday.

Sheeeeeez..... What's happened? I was sure by the time I celebrated my 50th birthday American would have space stations, Moon and Mars bases.

In 1968 I paid $1.25 to see the epic science fiction movie 2000: A Space Odyssey at Rapid City, South Dakota's Elks Theater. It was the glory days of our nation's Space Program. My friends and I were sure the science fiction we saw in that movie would be science fact on January 1, 2000.

This was the Space Station orbiting Earth. A fleet of PanAm Carriers transported you back and forth between the station and Earth.

A scene from the movie showing people in transit between the Space Station and the Moon.

This was the Space Station. Quite different from the one in orbit today in 2010.

What prevented the future we saw in 2000: A Space Odyssey from transpiring? The answer and its analysis would fill chapters. I guess you could say the present got in the way of the future.

My friends tell me that space exploration would explode if profit was involved. In other words, we must find a way to transform space travel from a money costly endeavour to a money making endeavour. I agree.

This picture comes from a web site advertising the areas where money could be made in space. It is possible. Space really is our last frontier. It is a place for young, new entrepreneurs (like you perhaps) seeking to make their fortune, and at the same time, expand mankind's knowledge of the universe itself.

So today, we remember the launch of Apollo 11 forty one years ago. In that same thought we congratulate the private companies at work today attemping to make the dream of 2000: A Space Odyssey real in your life time.

Mr. Williamson
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