One giant leap for mankind

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EVER since I was a little boy I have been deeply fascinated by space and the stars.

I used to gaze into the sky at night and wonder what was up there and whether man would ever make it to the final frontier.

Now I’m a big boy I have rather an impressive telescope set up in the attic of Grundi Towers, and spend hours at a time scanning the universe.

Of all the millions of objects out there in space, the moon has always been of particular interest to me.

When I was growing up nothing captured my imagination like the space race.

A time when man dared to dream.

This climaxed in 1969 when astronaut Neil Armstrong said those now legendary words and became the first man to set foot on the moon.

I was a young man back then, and it now seems like a long, long time ago.

But I’ll never forget staying up into the early hours watching those watching those magical, grainy, black and white images on my small television set.

At that moment it seemed liked anything was possible.

Surely within a few years we’d have colonised the moon and ordinary folk like you and me would be able to go there on holiday.

But that wasn’t to be. A handful of other spacemen followed in Armstrong’s small footsteps, but that was it. We’ve not been back now for nearly 40 years.

And, sadly, it doesn’t like we’ll be going back anytime soon, not in my lifetime, at least.

It’s an insult to the memories of people like Neil Armstrong that we seem to have all but given up on manned space exploration, instead wasting astronomical amounts of cash and technology on killing each other in pointless wars. It’s a crying shame.

Of course, there are those who say we never went to the moon, and the whole thing was filmed in some Hollywood film studio.

A few years ago when Buzz Aldrin was confronted by one of this conspiracy theory loons, Buzz bopped him one on the nose. Good man.

But nothing can ever take away from what the crew of Apollo 11 achieved 43 years ago.

They made us all want to reach for the stars,.

Neil Armstrong R.I.P.