- Piper Foster
MAANLANDING: Our global celebration of achieving what's impossible
This stamp only cost 6F but it cost the US government's Apollo program $25B and employed 400,000 people to register 1st place getting mankind to the moon. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Mission's moon landing, the backdrop of climate change and political polarization tint the anniversary with a new black and white: so many ostensibly impossible solutions await our communal acumen. But can we? Will we?
To me, pictures of the US flag on the moon mean more in 2019 than they did to me 10 years ago. Some of us have come of age in a time with few reasons to feel patriotic, rather plagued by the opposite disappointment in the realities of today's America. And yet back then, we did it, and not to claim US territory, but to illustrate US' prowess through smarts, through science, and through grit.
I picked this stamp to commemorate the lunar landing because it was not just Americans who seem to have felt, and marked, this moment in time: it was a victory for ingenuity, engineering, economic commitment to see mankind realize a quest as old the first named constellations — to touch this near cousin to our Earth. To touch it with our feet and hands. Evidently 600 million people watched thost first steps on the black and white surface of the moon, through grainy black and white footage on the surface of family room televisions.
Its hard to comment any more adeptly on the anniversary than the Christian Science Monitor's editorial writer in this piece, Why the moon landing still inspires. What inspires me in the editorial's observations, as in the spirit I read within depiction of the astronauts of this Belgian stamp, is thus, "Writer Norman Mailer wrote that the project set engineers and computer programmers to dram of 'ways to attack the problems of society as well as they had attacked the problems of putting men on the moon." May this generation's best somehow abound to be the forces of good who are smart, competent and driven just as those NASA engineers of the space race of the 60s.