37 years since Armstrong.
Today is a special day in our history; the anniversary of the first time we stood upon another world.
In the Orion’s Arm universe, Tranquility Day marks the beginning of the new age. The most common calendar in use among the sophonts of Galactic civilization numbers the years AT — After Tranquility.
Here and now, on the first day of AT 37, many are disheartened. There is no manned presence on the Moon. The International Space Station has a crew… three people, now. The most advanced manned spaceflight system is over twenty years old, and approaching obsolecence, with no viable replacement yet in sight.
Still, there are glimmers of a second dawn. While NASA labors to bring forth a CEV for manned space exploration, China moves slowly, diligently ahead, making plans of their own. Private firms take seed money from the US government, and are producing… not reports; not PowerPoint presentations. No, these firms are cutting steel and molding composites, building test models and prototypes. Further, private space tourism is in its infancy; no vehicle currently planned is capable of climbing to low earth orbit yet.
So… on this day, this happy anniversary, take heart. Neil Armstrong was the first human to walk the moon. Gene Cernan will not be the last.
…as we leave the Moon at Taurus Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.