A middle aged space crisis

by TedWritesStuff

Were you seduced by promises from politicians and the lure of Star Trek into believing that by now we would all be living on the moon? Me too. A mid life crisis is born.

As much as it pains me to admit it, I am a child of the 1960’s so I will admit not quite so freely that most of my memories of the 60’s are in black and white, just like the television I grew up watching. However, with the 60’s came the constant exciting promise that by the time I had grown up into a man I would be spending part of my life on the moon.

photo credit: wikimedia public domain

In the beginning

Moon seen from denmarkBut first let me go back in time. I have vague recollections of the day that Neil Armstrong took that first giant leap for mankind, I was almost 4 years of age and even though it occurred in the middle of the night in Australia I was old enough to know that something significant had occurred.

This was also a milestone moment in my life as it meant that I was well on my way to outer space, as my almost 4 year old mind had already made grand plans for what I would do when I got to the moon and begun floating around in the weightless atmosphere. My parents had emigrated from England and I was going to emigrate to the moon. Oh grand plans were afoot indeed.





Photo credits: Wikimedia CC2, CC3 or NASA Uncopyrighted.


Early setbacks

Apollo 17 on its wayThere were early setbacks though, NASA, in what my young self thought was a fairly short-sighted move decided to stop sending people to the moon in 1972, but that was nothing compared to my ability to projectile vomit whenever I entered a moving vehicle.

I was a lot more confident NASA would restart the space programme, but less confident of my condition being cured as no amount of drugs or coercion seemed to be able to abate my travel sickness ( I was going to be famous as the first space traveller to drown in their own vomit).This ironically was at its worst when I flew.

A Glorious shot of the Moon

Full Moon Over the Sea
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Turning 40

Buzz Aldrin
Space ElevatorBut happily as the years went by, NASA sent up Spacelab and started the shuttle programme and I outgrew travel sickness.

Outer space and the moon here I come, or so I thought. Yet the moon remained out of reach of all the space agencies throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.


There were no advances in technology that would mean ordinary people like me would be bathing in solar rays on the moon anytime soon.

I started to hope that some of the more outlandish plans such as the space elevator would actually come to fruition. It may sound wacky, but apparently the physics behind the idea are quite sound.

Space Elevator Explained

But alas no, space shuttles blew up and only very rich men with $20 million to spare could buy their way into space. My longing looks towards the sky became even more forlorn. 2005 and a fortieth birthday came and went and soon after America was no longer even sending men into space, let alone to the moon and no one else who had the capability were even thinking about it.


Photo CC-BY-SA-2.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License,

The moon gets further away

$200k Yoik

Virgin GalacticThen as I passed through my 40’s (ouch, that statement actually causes me physical pain) when I thought all was lost, my faint hopes of getting into space were reignited by Richard Branson.

For $200,000 you could book a trip on one of his spaceships where you would experience weightlessness and actually be in space for 6 short minutes.

As an aside, you can see that my expectations at this point had been greatly reduced. I had gone from being an expectant moon dweller to dreaming of spending $200,000 for 6 minutes in space. 

The one real drawback about this new plan was the $200 grand for 6 minutes. Even if I had that kind of money I would cry myself to sleep at night thinking of the terrestrial travel I could have done for that, for example I could have climbed Mt Everest and gotten change. Plus as I write this there still hasn’t been any commercial passengers into space.

Losing the dream

Neil ArmstrongSo now, at 47 years of age I am sitting here at my desk staring out at the full moon that fills the clear summer sky over Melbourne and I am feeling a real sense of melancholy.

Neil Armstrong is now dead.

Pluto (which was always one of my favourite planets because its known existence was the same age as my mum and I wore a Disney Pluto T-Shirt whilst I dreamt of and pretended to participate in moon travel as a child) is no longer a planet and my dream of luxury moon living is almost dead.

Some men buy Corvettes or Harley Davidsons when they hit a mid life crisis, but it’s not my age that is causing my ‘crisis’, so a fast bike or car just isn't going to cut the mustard. 

The Moon... Sigh

(11x17) NASA Astronaut Spacewalk Space Earth Photo Poster Print

(11x17) NASA Astronaut Spacewalk Space Earth Photo Poster Print

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When all hope is gone

The EarthWhat do you do when you have a middle-aged space crisis? I'm even almost teary eyed when I eat a mature cheddar (because as we all know the moon really is made of cheese).

What is a man if he loses all his dreams?

Sadly I fear this is only the beginning as I have to let go of all those childhood dreams and accept that I won’t be the next Hemingway or Jagger, nor will I circumnavigate the world in a canoe.

But most painful of all, I won’t go to the moon, and man, that sucks!

Moon Rockets

As the dream recedes!
Updated: 05/17/2013, TedWritesStuff
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Did you dream of living on the moon?

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TedWritesStuff on 12/13/2013

Oh Katie .. how I hope you are so right ;-)

katiem2 on 04/10/2013

My oldest daughter has shed a great many tears over the decline in monetary support for our space program.... Let's imagine it gains greater support beyond our wildest dreams. To the Moon!

katiem2 on 03/30/2013

Great article my daughter aspires to be an astrophysicist. She has always been in love with both physics and space, :)K

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