I’m just old enough to remember the last of the Moon landings in the early 70s. It seemed normal, like it was what people did. But the Moon missions were soon cancelled, and we haven’t seen a person walking on another planet since. We had to satisfy ourselves with robotic probes like Viking’s mission to Mars. And then the shuttle came, but it never got out of orbit.
It was a much different world than the one that had launched the space race nearly two decades before. Instead of the world feeling larger, full of possibilities, it seemed like we had reached for the stars, found the Sun like Prometheus, and fell back aflame.