Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We Came In Peace

"As I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come — but we believe not too long into the future — I'd like to just [say] what I believe history will record — that America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."
– Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 Commander. Last man to walk on the moon, December 14, 1972.

"The Falcon is ready for its final descent commander. What are your orders?"

"Keep the module steady. The Lunar gravitational pull might be weak but we cannot afford to have a rough landing." Commander Miral sternly warns. "This is humanity's closest attempt to return here."

"Loud and clear. We are now approaching the far side, expect a communications blackout for a few minutes."

"God speed and see you when your lander emerges from the other side."

The Via Mare orbits high above the celestial surface. Cramped and hastily assembled from spare parts not used by earlier missions, it is where Miral juggles her time assuring the worried engineers at Kourou that everything is going smoothly while giving step-by-step instructions to her men. Fifteen Billion souls are watching this historic event from their laptops, transmitter radios, widescreens and even from their videophones.

"We have emerged from the abyss, what are your next orders commander."

"Execute the aerobreak maneuver at 40,000 feet. If all goes according to calculations, your landing site is just several degrees latitude higher than of Apollo 11's."

It's been almost 70 years after Neil Armstrong set foot on this barren world. Plans were announced to return but a series of economic meltdown and tragic accidents almost had the project shelved. The United States sent its astronauts first - only to die from radiation poisoning as their orbiter passed though the Van Allen Belt. The Russian capsule collided with a runaway satellite resulting to a hull breach that killed its Cosmonauts. The Indians and the Chinese had blueprints but because of domestic opposition (due to the Pan-Asian Financial Crisis of 2015) they had to give up their ambition and sit on the table together with ten other nations and superstates who would pool their resources for this project.

"Humanity is destined to live among the stars and if we will merely stay here on this earth and not dare tread the heavens like our forefathers did, what a great shame to that invisible hand who shaped our evolution.

Shall we allow ourselves to become less of what we used to be?"

The rousing speech from Stavopoullos Maroussi, the President of the European Union stirred debates across the planet. A few weeks after it was delivered, a global poll revealed a close tie between those who are supporting the project and those who would like to spend the money on green technologies instead. It was only when the megacorporations spoke of their decision to share the bill that the moon landing became a reality.

"The Falcon has reached its 40,000 feet mark. Initiating aerobreaks now."

The dodecahedron-shaped lander suddenly inflates with five gigantic balloons emerging from its corners. Hurling at close to the speed of sound, it made touchdown near the Sea of Tranquility and bounced almost forty times before it made a full stop within visual range of the first human-carrier landing site on the moon.

By stroke of luck, the miscalculations from the planet's most powerful computers almost destroyed the relics of the past - particularly the Eagle Module. The apparent miscalculation however, would be debated by software engineers, mathematicians, conspiracy theorists and physicist for years to come because not one of them could explain as to how the computers came up with a trajectory that would ensure that the global spacefarers' first contact with its past would be its most selfless memento to another world:


red the mod said...

The very definition of poetry in prose is when the thread that weaves its lines reverberate in a melody that surpasses momentary distraction. Taking us into a state of extended disbelief, suspending reality in the harmony of words. Looks like your hiatus from literary inspiration has finally concluded. I do hope it is a portent of good things to come.

In a land where men seek only their validation across the heavens, in fervent belief of achieving beyond what nature intended, we meditate how our existence transcends more than our humanity and mortality can afford.

The Jomanian constellation is pulsing still. Despite the distance, and the irony of our circumstances. Once again it offers it cerulean lights to our seeking gaze in search of the heavenly tranquility in the discovery of purpose and meaning.

Then we return to reality, wipe the cloudedness from our eyes. Reinvigorated from our small tryst with the deep darkness of the skies, and the mesmerizing twinkle of the stars. Welcome back sir.

Pax Uranus (heavenly peace).

You came in peace. And it is this peace you also brought with you.

gillboard said...

Sometimes I forget that you have this fascination with space... it's nice to be reminded every once in awhile...


And I wanna quote Gloria Diaz.

-"In the next day or so, a man will land on the moon. If a man from the moon landed in your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?"

She answeres, "I guess since he has been in the moon so long, he would enjoy anything that an ordinary man would." :)