My New Year message of optimism and hope (from the Moon!)
Greetings and happy 2022 to all readers and subscribers, and special greetings to the paid subscribers!
I added my one-minute clip to the video titled “Why Me to the Moon?” produced by the Cultural Considerations Working Group of the Moon Village Association (MVA). To me, building a sustainable and permanent human presence on the Moon is our next step upward and outward before moving on to Mars and beyond. Here’s the current version of the video:
My clip is a message of optimism and hope in the future of spaceflight and human space expansion. Here’s a transcript:
“Me to the Moon? No way, I am too old.
My name is Giulio Prisco. I live in Budapest. In 1969 I watched the first astronauts walking on the Moon. I was sure that I would go to the Moon myself. But things didn’t go that way.
Of course I am sad because I and so many other Apollo orphans of my generation didn’t get to walk on the Moon.
But I am happy because a younger generation is going back to the Moon. Future astronauts will build a permanent human presence on the Moon.
I will be there. I will watch the astronauts in high definition TV, and I will walk with them on the Moon in spectacular Virtual Reality scenes.
More philosophically, I will go to the Moon as a crew member of our Spaceship Earth. We are part of the same mission, and the next stop is the Moon. Then, the solar system and the stars.
So yes, I will walk on the Moon. Yes, me. Walking on the Moon. I look forward to meeting you there.”
In “The Spaceflight Revolution: A Sociological Study” (see my review), Bill Bainbridge reported that:
“In 1946 Arthur C. Clarke urged fellow members of the British Interplanetary Society [to] be honest with ourselves. Any ‘reasons’ we may give for wanting to cross space are afterthoughts, excuses tacked on because we feel we ought, rationally, to have them. They are true but superfluous - except for the practical value they may have when we try to enlist the support of those who may not share our particular enthusiasm for astronautics yet can appreciate the benefits which it may bring, and the repercussions these will have upon the causes for which they, too, feel deeply. The urge to explore, to discover, to ‘follow knowledge like a sinking star,’ is a primary human impulse which needs and can receive no further justification than its own existence.”
This is exactly my own attitude. To me, spaceflight is a primary goal and space expansion is our cosmic duty. Those of us who share this conviction need no further arguments, but of course we must still find ways to persuade others based on more immediate and practical considerations. See my book “Futurist spaceflight meditations.”
In this picture I’m cheerfully watching the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope on Christmas Day. To me, the launch has been a Christmas Mass: a powerful spiritual experience that has inspired me with great expectations of our awesome future as explorers of outer and inner spaces. To me, space launches are religious services. On the sacred road to the stars, we’ll find/build the transcendence promised by religions.
2022 promises to be another great year for spaceflight. These are some (only some, there are more) of the missions to follow:
And let’s not forget that we are doing great things and will soon do even greater things in space. Let’s “reject the pessimism of our apocalyptic times!”
The race between the US and China for leadership in spaceflight will continue. I think this is good because, at this moment, only the most aggressive, unfair, and warlike competition from China (and Russia) can wake up the US and push the West back to space in both the literal and the cultural sense. See my book “Futurist spaceflight meditations.”
As a non-American crew member of Spaceship Earth, which nation will take the lead in the next phase of our ascent to the stars is not really a big deal to me. If it must be China, so be it, and fine with me.
But at the same time, I think we in the West should at least try and do our best to avoid this scenario, because it would be a cultural extinction level event for us.
In 2022 I plan to intensify my efforts to promote space expansion on the one hand, and develop Turing Church metafysiks and space philosophy on the other hand. The two hands are part of one and the same body of deep convictions.
Cover picture: screenshot from the video “Why Me to the Moon?”