Who owns the heavens?
With the space race outsourced to astropreneurs, the final frontier is for sale to the wealthy few.
Neil Armstrong was sure he’d said “a.” One small step for a man. Not one small step for man, which wouldn’t have made sense. He’d thought about it for months before the flight, finally scrawling the sentence on a piece of scrap paper during a game of Risk with his brother. His brother thought it sounded great. Poor Neil, having to be a poet in addition to a pilot and an engineer and an astronaut.
When the time finally came, the moon’s first earthling tested the ladder’s height to make sure he could get back up, then hopped off the landing module’s bottom rung. “Armstrong is on the moon,” Walter Cronkite announced. “Neil Armstrong. Thirty-eight-year-old American. Standing on the surface of the moon. On this July twentieth, nineteen hundred and sixty-nine.”
Armstrong interrupts the commentary. Still holding onto the ladder, he moves a moon boot across the powdery surface and states haltingly, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”