Whether celebrating its spiritual, religious or secular significance, SPACEFLIGHT would like to wish all its readers a very happy holiday season and the very best of good wishes for a peaceful New Year.
No-one who heard Borman, Lovell and Anders read the first verses of Genesis from Moon orbit at Christmas time in 1968 will ever forget the unifying effect that had on all people around the globe. It was the first time human beings had surrendered themselves to the gravitational bonds of another world in space and for a few brief moments, as Richard Nixon would say of the Moon landing, ‘all the people on this Earth (were) truly one’.
The mission itself had been an awesome vindication of the spirit invoked by John F Kennedy’s decision of May 1961 to send astronauts to the Moon. For some, the significance was greater than the first landing seven months later; for others it represented a start, the first toehold in that ‘vast ocean of space’ that beckons all humanity to the stars.
Today, there are those who keep that dream alive and in a very practical way. For almost 80 years the British Interplanetary Society has been at the forefront of pioneering concepts with a practical, albeit ambitious, mandate to ‘go where no (human) has gone before’. Now it is re-energizing itself for a new surge in creating an environment in which our aspirations extend beyond immediate gain and material comfort.
Accordingly, Spaceflight would like to acknowledge the work of those unsung heroes at the BIS who keep the fires bright and burning strong. While leading lights such as Alan Bond, Kelvin Long, Richard Osborne and others set their sights firmly on the stars, give thought, and thanks, this Christmas to the trench-troops who serve the BIS as volunteers and maintain the Society and its four publications.
So, as we start the holiday season, SPACEFLIGHT reminds everyone that the future does not belong to the faint hearted but to the strong in spirit, will and deed and that those qualities can be found at the very core of volunteers, Members and Fellows of the British Interplanetary Society. Thank you all. Onward – To the Stars!
The Editor (Spaceflight)