It was a day that I was not out talking to strangers. I continued to connect with people that I was already interacting with. Saroj is Radha’s grandmother. I had interviewed Radha a couple of days ago.
Saroj was a high school science teacher in Punjab, India. Her favorite area of science is zoology. Her science teacher taught zoology with much enthusiasm and excitement. And like so many people, the impact of a teacher who is excited about his/her subject can not be underestimated. If a teacher knows a lot about a subject and is enthusiastic, and is able to connect with students, then those students will also become excited about that subject.
Saroj asks a question that would be asked by many people over the course of the year of interviews “Why did we stop going to the moon?” And I just thought of a reason that makes sense to me. “We no longer thought it was worth it.”
Why were we going to the moon? The main political driver and the thing that stuck in the minds of the people was to “beat the Russians”. The Russians beat us badly at the beginning of the space race. Who first put a satellite in orbit, the Russians. Who first launched a person to space? The Russians. Who did the first space walk? The Russians. And on and on the list goes.
Going to the moon was to show “Yes, we got a late start. But we can beat you if we choose.”
And so, when we got to the moon that first time, there may have been many people who wondered why we even went of the second time.
But “Beating the Russians” is not the only reason to go. To understand the moon. To explore and develop the resources of the moon. To observe this area of space from an unique perspective. All of these reasons are importan.
If we reduce the reason of going back to the moon to “landing the first woman”, we will miss the point and have the same problem. “We go to the moon to understand and explore. To learn more. To learn what we don’t know. To learn what it can teach us. We go to the moon to develop resources that will help us explore further, more economically. Resources that will help us back on earth. We go to get practice to go further. To Mars. to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. We will send humans throughout the solar system. to the nearby stars, and eventually throughout the galaxy.” These are the reasons we need the emphesize.