What is it about space travel that captures the mind and inspiration so thoroughly and completely? Is it the juxtaposition of our own smallness and frailty with our hubris and courage to push ourselves beyond? Is it that we, inconsequential, ostensibly earthbound creatures, actually make fragile machines, work out the crazy math, and incomprehensibly manage to shoot for something 400 million miles away…and actually hit it?

I don’t know. I do know I sat up nearly all night, eyes brimming with tears, and watched with unmitigated joy as humanity landed on a foreign world. It wasn’t the first time, and it surely won’t be the last, but it was captivating beyond belief. I watched a mission commander who resembled Johnny Cash call out coordinates and a room full of scientists burst into joyous cheers while tears streamed down cheeks. We humans, daring to throw a stone at the moon, are both incomprehensibly tiny, and incomprehensibly without bounds. Simultaneously.

Beautifully done, Science. I love us.

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