So maybe Apollo went too far too soon and set an impossible target against which everything since has been measured. It wasn’t about primarily about exploration, although that did happen, and it certainly wasn’t about sustainability, but it has cast a long shadow over what has come since.
Am I committing some sort of heresy by saying these things? Well, all I can say is that the people who made Apollo happen are still my heroes. I still get a lump in my throat when I think what they did, the risks they took and the certainty they had in their belief that it was worth it. Armstrong himself has now left us, his surviving fellow moonwalkers are now old men – still active, still advocating the next big step, but a vivid reminder of the time that has passed since Apollo.
I guess my conclusion is that the further we get from those days, the more anomalous Apollo appears – an amazing adventure that will stand out as future generations look back on the twentieth century, but not something that can be repeated. We live in a different world now.
Yes. We need to stop trying to do Apollo to Mars. It isn’t going to happen, and moreover, it shouldn’t.