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Out there

Lucian-Dragoş Bogdan

Publicat Duminică, 18 Martie 2007, ora 07:52

       The origin of our specie is covered in mystery. We do not know either if we were brought to senses by some gods, landed on Earth by some unknown alien creatures or our existence was the result of evolution. We are also unaware of the fact our ancestors have seen the outer space or not. Many myths and legends might give an affirmative answer to this last question, yet we do not posses the proofs to sustain that.
      We can assume that, generally, human race has spent its entire time tied up to the land, humbly raising its eyes to the stars or envying the birds for their flight. The dream of flying was burning inside many of our ancestors. We turn over the pages of history reading the myth of Icarus, smiling to the story of Lucian of Samosata, admiring the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, bowing to the unbelievable predictions of Jules Verne.
      Men constructed balloons, yet real flight was far from happening. It took many contradictions and efforts to come at the beginning of the 20th century to airplanes. From that moment on, unfortunately pushed forward by the wars as well, flight developed rapidly and soon became a natural way of traveling.
      Humankind ruled the skies, but its look was focused far beyond, in the world of the mystical stars. History rolled its dice and created two political and economical giants: the United Stated and the Soviet Union. A race began between the two of them for the supremacy of the universe. The USSR won the first round, with Gagarin officially declared the first man that stepped out the atmosphere. The race continued, and the USA succeeded in winning the next few rounds. As far as we know, Armstrong was the first man on the Moon and other Americans followed him. What was next? A space station with human crew came out from the Russian laboratories outrunning the Americans.
      Science fiction and the world itself were ready to make their bets on the next target. Would it be Mars? Would it be the satellites of Jupiter? Would it be the far end of our solar system? Would it be a permanent base on the Moon?
      We were prepared to pack our bags and go were no man has gone before, to use a cliché. But the time hurried up year by year, month by month, day by day cracked with a sinister sound. The spaceship Challenger exploded few seconds after its launch, becoming the first worldwide known disaster in this race.
      Then the Soviet Union’s economy collapsed. American relaxation followed it at once as if the pressure was all gone. Space flight was no more a race. It was something to be done, but not a priority.
      Western Europe and Japan came along in this hard mission, but the rush was over. We imagined that we could reach Mars before the beginning of the third millennium and that we will live on Moon by the same time.
      Unfortunately this didn’t happen and I’m afraid to say that it will still take a lot of time before something spectacular will happen again. The race was good, pushing us beyond our limits and possibilities. I apologize for this statement to those who died (many of them unknown), crushed by the insanity of the pressure and to those who starved because there were no money left for their food.
      However, nothing really big comes out without sacrifice. Space flight was (and is) among the biggest achievement of human race.
      Yet we have to wait a little longer till we’ll be able to consider ourselves “home” out there.

© Copyright Lucian-Dragoş Bogdan
Sursa :   Imagikon
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