I was born on the cusp of the greatest achievement in human history, landing a man on the Moon, I remember growing up in the early 1970s and playing Astronaut with my brother using an old cardboard box as our spaceship and much to my mother's chagrin using up a new roll of aluminum foil to make our "spacesuits". I devoured everything I could find about the Apollo program and space and astronomy. I remember watching the early morning launch of the first space shuttle Columbia, thinking that this was the first step of yet another great adventure.
In the end, the Shuttle Program turned out to be nothing more than a teenager taking the family car out for a joy ride and then doing nothing but driving around the block and never getting out of first gear.
I think it'll be only a matter of weeks before the news is again filled with stories of finding yet another exo-planet(a planet that orbits a star that is not our own). And as the child in me rejoices at finding another planet that may support some form of life, I can't help but thinking that all of these "achievements" are in a sense one of the greatest scientific misdirections in the history of mankind.
I am not flat Earther, I love science, but we're investing billions of dollars into this research and "explorations" that ultimately are pointless.
Let's go back to the Moon! Let's go to Mars! Let's send a probe to Europa to find out what(if anything)is beneath that icy surface!
In the 1960s and 1970s humanity waded ankle deep in the ocean of space by going to the Moon and now what are we doing? We're standing on the beach, getting our toes wet in the surf while we toss an occasional fishing line into the water to see what's there!
We don't need to plunge heedlessly into the deep, we can again wade in, carefully and go back to the Moon and from there we can as a race go out to explore the solar system. We have the technology, we have the knowledge, all we are lacking is the will.
Yes, times are hard financially, there are sick and starving people in the world, but even the ancient Romans understood that when times were hard the people not only desired, but needed more than when times were good, a distraction from their hard daily lives.
We need to go back to the Moon not in spite of the problems we face here on Earth but because of them. We need to show Humanity that there is a future, a future that could be better.