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Location: Newark, Delaware, United States

My name is David P. Bellamy. The only significant thing not mentioned elsewhere here is, I think, that I almost always prefer to read a book instead of watching a movie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Apollo 11

Forty two years ago today, July 20, 1969, two men walked on the moon for the first time. No one has been there at all since the early 1970,s. My students this morning had no idea of the significance of the date.

It is a tragedy that space explorations have been abandoned except for near earth orbit and robotic probes for scientific purposes. A defining part of the American character has been the need for a frontier, for most of the history of this country. Space, beyond Earth, is our frontier these days. It is a profound tragedy that very few people seem to care that we are not pursuing it nowadays. The retirement of the shuttle fleet is just the most recent of the lack of vision, the malaise, that seems to pervade our psyche. Some optimists have argued to me that for example, it was a century and a quarter between the first European contact with the American continent and the establishment of the first permanent [English] settlement. This is not a valid comparison, really, since there were already people here who were conquered by the English and other Europeans. There are no such people on the moon, for example. The land is there for the taking. But, I hope their optimism is justified, nontheless.