Bad Astronomy

xkcd and other-world walkers

Like a bazillion other geeks, I’m a big fan of Randall Munroe’s web comic xkcd. It’s funny and wonderful, but sometimes it’s his particular way of expressing his view that’s simply astonishing.

As poignant as that is, you really need to go to his page and mouse over the comic to read the text that pops up. It reminded me strongly of my own sentiments in an OpEd I wrote for the New York Post a couple of years ago. Especially this part:

For all of history, the Moon was a metaphor for an unreachable place, beyond our grasp. But in 1969 NASA looked to this unachievable destination and made it achievable. It was an event so singular that every accomplishment ever since has been compared to it. It was NASA’s shining hour.

But I’ve met many Apollo astronauts, and – no offense to them – they’re old. The last man to walk on the Moon is 75. How old will he be when the next human leaves a footprint on the lunar surface?

It’s a question I’d like the answer to very soon.

Related posts:

- What value space exploration?
- The cost of SETI: Infographic
- A half century of manned space exploration
- Wait. How big is NASA’s budget again?