As a child in the 80s, I used to stare at the moon and struggled to grasp the fact that people had landed and walked on it. That people had considered having a serious go at it, and had succeeded.
It is one of the few emotions that remain unchanged to this day, as a grown-ass adult.
In fact the wonder and thrill is greater still, with photos from the Mars rover Curiosity, and the Cassini and Juno and New Horizons missions, and learning about the planetary slingshots used by Voyager 1 and 2 (which sounded like straight-up science fiction).
It makes me believe humanity, even in its current stage of evolution, is capable of most endeavours it can imagine, through science, creativity and organisation, if only it can learn to unite.
This optimism is tempered by E O Wilson’s quote “The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology”.
Today I’m spending the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in conscious enthralment, glad that I can still experience the same feeling I did as a child.