Wednesday 15 May 2019

Five decades after NASA successfully landed a human on the lunar surface and returned him and crew safely to Earth with the Apollo programme (aiming for the stars with the Moon being one of several goals when the mission was first conceived), the space agency has committed to returning within five years and the next humans to set foot on there will be a woman and man, naming the follow-on series of missions Artemis, after Apollo’s twin sister and goddess of the hunt, wilderness, the Moon and childbirth.
While we are big proponents for space exploration and happy that the US isn’t poor-mouthing the budget and even bigger advocates for equal opportunity (we’re just beginning to appreciate the role that women scientists played in the background to make the first mission a reality) and finding role models but there’s something a little creepy and sinister about how the whole ambitious plan is being presented and support rallied. What do you think? Considering who the chief cheerleaders are, it comes across almost as messianic, like a second Eden. Achieving equity in representation is challenging and opportunity and accomplishment ought not be conflated with other narratives (despite our penchant for story-telling as motivation), and the further we come in our outlook we also realise how much further we have to go.