CHARLES GRAHAM - History’s ultimate pioneer...so far

I HAVE only vague recollections of the lunar landings, but Neil Armstrong’s setting foot on the Moon is fixed in almost every human’s memory.

So momentous an occasion was it that the grainy film has been played endlessly ever since. And so will it continue now that the man who carries that never-to-be repeated title has left us.

In idle moments I have sometimes wondered whether all the fuss and expense for getting a rocket and humans onto a barren ball of rock hundreds of thousands of miles away is really worth it.

But there has always been more to exploring outer space than the reason given by climbers about scaling mountains, ie “because it’s there.”

Because for an increasingly over-populated planet, reaching the stars may one day be our salvation... First a trip to the Moon; some time in the future longer-distance colonisation of habitable planets.

The stuff of dreams and sci-fi B movies at the moment. But pre-1969 so was what Neil Armstrong did.

History will remember him forever.