Moonward, ho!

NASA’s discovery of moon water nourishes frontier spirit.

Last Friday afternoon, NASA announced the opening of a new chapter after a recent mission found a significant amount of water on the moon. The $79 million mission purposefully crashed a satellite into the moonâÄôs surface in order to analyze the composition of resulting debris, which successfully validated the long-pondered aquatic speculations of scientists and astronomers. An Associated Press headline from Saturday included âÄúMission strikes gold,âÄù and it was clear by the weekend that our latest lunar narrative has awoken the slumbering ethos of the frontier. Excited news reports from passers-by last Friday suggest that despite widespread malaise from the depths of economic recession, the American people have not lost a basic yearning toward the unknown and are still warm to the sense of adventure and wild independence which marked the Westward expansion of the latter centuries. While the verification of water on the moon fuels trailblazing dreams of lunar habitation, this reality still stands decades away. But the psychological effect of finding water on land untamed (and thankfully, unsettled) marks one of those rare moments of collective hope and enthusiasm that a progressive society ought to cling to, albeit one we must be careful not to abuse. The United States currently claims six flags on the moon, but NASAâÄôs exceptional discovery should be claimed universally. As Neil Armstrong said on stepping past the portal on July 21, 1969, âÄúThatâÄôs one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.âÄù With all the energies frontier can muster, may water on the moon engage us not only politically, scientifically or psychologically; let it bring humanity together in bold hope for a more rewarding, just and vibrant future.