For two hundred thousand years, humanity trundled along. And then the industrial revolution happened — and things took off…
I recall, as a young boy, watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing. I remember looking forward to the day when I would, myself, be a ‘space explorer’. In my mind’s eye, I was convinced this would be possible by the time I was thirty years old. From my perspective, we had simply reached that point in our development where the next step was to explore space. It all seemed quite natural.
Little did I know at that time that the reason we (that’s ‘we’ as in ‘humanity’) went to the Moon had very little to do with the urge to explore; the real reasons were more complex. It was more to do with a clash of ideologies. It was a matter of international politics and posturing; it was about capitalism’s need to prove that it was better than communism. I grew up immersed in one of the two feuding cultures, and this influenced my view of reality.
As a teenager, the only option available to me was the Atari ‘Lunar Lander’ game:
Lunar Lander as a teenager: nowadays we have Lunar Flight — which is the closest I’m ever going to get to setting foot on another planet!
Lunar Flight is an awesome game. A tad tricky flying using a dvorak keyboard layout (that’s my excuse for constantly crashing, anyway!). This game provides a whole new perspective on the skills an astronaut needs: they must have practised forever and a day to get it right.
It’s possible to play Lunar Flight with a virtual reality headset, which would add an extra layer of immersion. I don’t have the kit for that myself, though.