Monday, August 27, 2012

In July 1969 this question would never have been asked

Alex Tabarrok offers this question,

Neil Armstrong, first moon walker, died yesterday.
In total, there have been twelve. Armstrong who was first, Peter Conrad who was 3rd, Alan Shepard who was 5th and James Irwin who was 8th, are gone, leaving just eight. Just eight of 7 billion. Alan Shepard was the oldest, he was born in 1923, the others were all born in the 1930s at a time when Orville Wright still lived. The youngest, Charles Duke, will be 77 this year.

Could we soon have an age where all the moon walkers are gone? Will children then wonder whether it happened at all?

In July 1969 we had reached out beyond our little planet and begun the journey to the stars. The possibility that one among us would not have walked among the heavens was not even a consideration.