That was the plaque which the first astronauts brought to the Moon nearly 50 years ago. Not only they, but the whole American nation and millions of others around the world were being transformed in their thinking of the future of mankind, by those voyages which they took and engineered and witnessed.
“For the first time, human beings consciously decided to learn to live and act in environments completely different from the one in which we had evolved,” one astronaut said.
But almost overnight, the beautiful ships circling the Moon withdrew; farther space travels were forgotten. The country plunged into wars — British, French colonial-modelled wars — which have continued since, and which ultimately the United States has lost. Under Presidents G.W. Bush and Obama, these have become spreading disasters of war and terrorism across the Mideast, North Africa, and Europe.
Though unmanned space missions were named for discovery and discoverers, Americans were convinced to be “practical,” and forget living through discovery as they had often done before.
Other nations, China and India in particular, now plan and take the great steps of discovery in space, planning Mars missions, scheduling the first landings a the great platform of discovery of the galaxy — the far side of the Moon.
At the same time, the Asian powers with Russia have planned and started on challenging projects of new infrastructure, great East-West and North-South Eurasian land-bridges with high-speed rail lines, new cities, power, even magnetic levitation rail lines.
When they intervene to bring wars to resolution so that they can introduce reconstruction and new development, they mean it.
President Obama — trying to patch together military alliances, trade wars, NATO war threats and confrontations to stop Russian and Chinese leaders from these developments – is in fact organizing a “league of losers.” The threat of global war from his attempts to intimidate Russia and China is grave; but he is a loser threatening real leaders in Putin and Xi.
Forget what is “practical”: Even in fighting terrorism, what is needed to win victories is discovery, as in exposing the Saudi/British hands controlling the 9/11 mass murders and suddenly seeing the source of the last 15 years’ disastrous wars.
The more so in reviving the great American space program. In collaboration with the newly dynamic space powers, it will be a new source of living through discoveries — which is actually human, as the nation was learning 50 years ago.