With or without a musical soundtrack, there’s something inherently stirring about watching a spacecraft lift off into orbit.
In this case, it’s the very last launch for Space Shuttle Endeavour. Thanks to all the cameras designed to ensure the Columbia tragedy never recurs, we can watch the launch from just about every angle.
50 years ago today, John F. Kennedy spoke before congress and set a remarkable vision for the nation with the famous words, “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest.
“But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” – from Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space