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Into the Cosmos: The Future of Spaceflight

Good Essays
August 20, 1969. The scene is the front yard of a cozy suburban home. Little Thomas lies in the grass and gazes to the stars. Only a month before, Neil Armstrong uttered the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” These words inspired Little Thomas. He gazes to the stars. Gazes and dreams, dreams of a time when he would bounce between stars, moons, and planets like there was no distance between them at all. Thomas thinks, “I can’t wait! I’m gonna be an astronaut! I’m gonna go to the Moon! To Mars! I’m gonna go all the way to Pluto! Distance is gonna mean nothing, by the time I’m all grown up, I’m gonna be able to go anywhere in the universe I wanna!” Fast forward to the present. The last moon landing was in 1972. Humans have never set foot on another planet. They rarely go in to space in general, and the farthest they venture when they do is to the International Space Station. Thomas, now grown, sits at his desk with a frown. He hates his job, his marriage is falling apart, and his kids haven’t called home from college in months. This is the content and cadence of his life, he is accustomed to it. But something else bothers him. He can’t quite put a finger on it, but he has a vague notion of dissatisfaction. He closes the office and walks to his car. The stars shine bright above him. Jupiter shimmers to the left of Orion, high above the southern horizon. But Thomas stares only at the ground. Space exploration has
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