AS Chandrayaan-I lands on the moon I begin to wonder how we did it and right on cue I get all the information. Major lunar landmarks from Galileo Galilei’s telescope to Luna 2 having a hard landing on the moon’s surface. Luna 9 and its pictures transmitted of the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong and his epic landing which started a race among nations to put their flag on the moon’s surface. Indian ambitions in that direction fueled by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The tom-toming of Rakesh Sharma, India’s first astronaut.
Why do we go overboard? Well because for once in our history it is worth it. The soft landing on the moon is India’s claim to fame as it joins an exclusive club of 5 nations (including us) who have achieved this feat. Okay so the Japanese Hiten crashed but it did reach the moon. Finally we can begin getting over the tag of third world country that the Australian Cricket Captain so recently tainted us with. After all Australia has not yet reached the moon! Congratulations are due and being offered to everyone associated with the project.
Now move away from this function with flashing light bulbs and long speeches. Come outside to the countryside. See the night sky glittering with a million stars. This is a sight that no city child can see anymore, thanks to all the lightening and glow from the city itself. Now as you see the moon gliding by surrounded by those twinkling skies try and understand what your nation has just done. They have actually reached that far. As difficult as it is to comprehend, the moon is the next frontier. In a few generations there will be colonies on the moon.
The space on earth will grow short and the need shall arise to populate the moon. Slowly and steadily we will grow from one planet to the other and eventually science fiction will come true. The thought boggles my mind and I only wish I live long enough to visit the moon in a shuttle one day.