Nine years after John F. Kennedy gave his speech, “The New Frontier,” Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon. At the height of the Cold War, the American flag Armstrong raised claimed victory for the United States. The Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957 had spurred the United States into action. The White House’s “Introduction to Outer Space,” published March 1958 outlined the justifications for undertaking a national space program: “The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Most of the surface of the earth has now been explored and men now turn to the exploration of outer space as their next objective.” Several months later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, was founded.
Publications by tags
Over a week ago, i was in Antwerp. My first stop was FOMU, the Photography Museum and one of the few cultural spaces where i’m sure i’ll always get to discover something curious and eye-opening. My intention was to visit the show dedicated to young Belgian photographers and the one about The Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. After that i thought i’d haughtily snob the MAAN/MOON and make my way to another exciting art space in town. Fortunately, i was accompanied by a friend whose enthusiasm for celestial bodies hasn’t been damped by the current media frenzy about the anniversary of the Moon landing.
Edwin Reichert, People stand in front of a television shop and look through the window to witness the start of the Apollo 11 space mission, Berlin, Germany. Photo AP, via
During the first Moon landing, the world stood transfixed in amazement. In the intervening decades, only 10 more people set foot on the Moon, leaving the future of tangible space exploration in question. We need to reawaken the sense of sublime wonder fundamental to our relationship with the Cosmos and create meaningful artifacts that extend the reach of the human footprint.