I remember the exciting days of the Apollo program very well. I remember the breathless excitement of hearing Neil Armstrong’s famous words come crackling over a transistor radio as we boys listened in our bunks the first night of our week at camp.

Do you know how powerful the technology was that controlled that mission?

The flight computer onboard the Lunar Excursion Module, which landed on the Moon during the Apollo program, had a whopping 4 kilobytes of RAM and a 74 KB "hard drive." In places, the craft’s outer skin was as thin as two sheets of aluminum foil.

That was then.

This is now. NASA’s plans for the coming longer moon missions are much more elaborate with much more sophisticated equipment. You can read about some of it at the link above.

The many extremes faced by astronauts heading for the moon, and later, they hope, to Mars, seem to reinforce the notion that the earth is truly the only home of life in the universe. (Can’t prove it, but it is a notion I hold nonetheless.)

How inhospitable the rest of creation seems to be!

And how fascinating!