Fifty years of reflection

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Fifty four years to the day, the Russians launched Sputnik.
On July 20th, 1969, my family and the world witnessed Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin make the first foot prints on the moon.
At the time we (the human species) weren’t sure if the moon’s crust could even be walked on. Today we know the satellite we thought was a barren wasteland, harbors vast quantities of water valuable for further space exploration.
I was seven when the Eagle landed in the Sea of Tranquility; we watched on a black and white television. Soon after, I came home from school with a book club application. $9.00 was a lot of money when we were paying $20.00 a month for rent, but I still asked my father, ( I was only seven, I didn’t know the value of money, plus it came with a model of the LM).
For two months an exact replica of the lunar module rest upon a stack of three books in their original cardboard case. Eventually my father did the math and realized he paid $9.00 for a plastic toy. He then encouraged me to read the books. The books were full of beautiful pictures of rockets, planets (or at least artist’s depictions), and stickers.
Once Dad realized I was putting the stickers in the book without reading it, he laid down the law. “You can’t put a sticker on, till you read the page!”
I was seven. I did what I was told.
I have loved science for the last forty three years and have witnessed many changes in theories and hypothesis. Lately even Einstein’s theory of relativity has been challenged.
Today I celebrate my fiftieth revolution around a star, not unlike all the countless other stars so similar to the one we call the Sun.
In fifty years I have seen the rings of Saturn. I witnessed a moon landing. I’ve seen the atom ripped to shreds compared to what it was when I was in high school, Plate tectonics didn’t exist, and I didn’t know why the dinosaurs went extinct, but I do now. At one time in my life there were nine planets, then eight. Today keeping up with how many possible vs comfirmed hits in the data varies from day to day.
Fifty years isn’t enough time to answer all the questions I have, but with age comes wisdom, so at least I understand more of the answers I get.
I can only wonder (or write) about what discoveries, changes, or challenges science will face in my next fifty years.