With the recent 40th anniversary of the moon landing and the attendant talk about whether America should go back to the moon, I think we need to remember that this is also the 50th anniversary of one of the saddest events of the space race: a man’s beloved girlfriend went on a trip to the moon, and he found that she could no longer communicate with him except through high-pitched beeps. He thought individual beeps might mean “I love you” and “I wanna kiss you,” but he didn’t know for certain. Finally he discovered that his woman had deserted him and was fooling around with some space cat she met on the moon (it is not specified whether this was a fellow astronaut or a person who actually lived on the moon). Plus she also fools around with a satellite, showing the heartless mechanization of the modern era: we don’t care if we’re with humans, aliens, or machines.
So before we talk about going back to the moon, let’s remember the enormous human toll this took on people in the ’50s and beyond.