Sunday, January 11, 2009

Moon Rover

"If this country can send a man to the moon, surely we can. . . ." has been a moldy oldie for years. But it's starting to sound fresher now.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the final float in Barack Obama's inaugural parade will be NASA's Small Pressurized Rover, the machine designed for missions returning to the moon in 2020. How very apt. As I noted in this space after Election Day, during Obama's televised acceptance speech, I was struck by the stage setting in Denver. No pompoms, confetti and other silliness, but the large letters USA spelled out in white lights. The plain, sans-serif letters reminded me of the USA on the Saturn Five rockets in television coverage of moon shot liftoffs. Indeed, on Election Night 2008 I was proud of the USA in a way I haven't been since Apollo. In the intervening years this country has a lot to its discredit, including several presidencies and unwarranted wars and the Wall Street greed debacle.

If this country can send a man to the moon, surely we can: get our financial house in order; stop lusting for war, and get ourselves out of the last ill-advised war, without completely destroying the luckless country where it plays out; and last but not least, get back to the moon. We can hope. Yes, we can.

NASA Constellation Program photo

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