(…and reaching out into that deep blue yonder to the reachable…yet far)

This is the last issue of the year.

It’s been a really scrambled one it seems, some of it okay, some of it…not so much… yet ending on an upbeat note of a possible détente between America and Cuba after fifty years.

Nevertheless, and despite any ongoing conflicts plaguing our world here…a tiny one… compared to others in our own solar system, not to mention any others that might be zipping around somewhere out there…in deepest space…we can but hope that things will work out for the better next year.

Meanwhile, we humans are now preparing for some serious efforts to launch out from our world to see if we can actually reach some other planet, one we might perhaps even manage to migrate to eventually. This old house, so to speak, is getting kind of crowded, and, from the looks of things, it’s not only getting grungier because of that, there may also come a time when colonizing some other planet may be our only fail-safe option…if our species is to survive.

Right now…Mars…seems to be the most likely candidate for that. We already have several of our recon machines prowling over its surfaces. What we’ve learned from these so far is that there are some tantalizing clues that maybe, just maybe, there’s enough potential there to support the likes of us settling on it. So now, we’re testing our Orion rocket to see if it can not only carry some of us to it, and, safely land us on it as well…but then…return back to Earth to pick up other loads of inter-stellar pilgrims for it.

Who knows, it could happen sooner than we think. After all, it was only some 75 years after the Wright brothers lifted off in their motorized box-kite rig to “fly” for a few hundred yards, when we began zipping around this globe of ours in jet propelled comfort…and heading for a wild walk on the moon. So we shouldn’t be too surprised if we do manage to reach Mars in half that time.

If so, perhaps after we get there, whenever we’ll look back from it to admire the view of our old pretty blue home planet twinkling back at us, we might even get a little homesick for its familiar places, and think about it with these lyrics written almost forty years ago:

Sapphire blue, oh, sapphire blue, You’re a jewel in the starry night, You’re a most delightful sight. Sapphire blue, oh sapphire blue, With your clouds of whitest lace, You’ve got to be a most wonderful place. Sapphire blue, oh sapphire blue, Through all the worlds we’ve ever been, You’ve got to be the sweetest one we’ve ever seen. Sapphire blue, oh, sapphire blue!

Well, when we were on the moon, that’s what some pictures taken from out there showed us earthlings what it looked like from there…even if down here on its surface…things weren’t as pretty as such lyrics might suggest…but why quibble. Let’s just look forward as we close out this fourteenth year of our 21st Century…as we’re reaching out into that deep blue yonder to the reachable…yet far…and for which the attached graphic…is our modest attempt to illustrate these efforts.




Graphic annex -Issue No. 97 - Dec 2014