By: Patrick Kiger
Fortunately, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who were the first humans to land on the Moon in 1969, made it back to Earth alive. That spared us the horror of listening to the speech that then-President Richard Nixon was prepared to deliver, in the event that the Lunar Module had failed to lift off from the lunar surface--a catastrophe for which NASA had no rescue plan.
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon in explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
I mention this, because thinking about that what-if still gives me the creeps. It's frightening to imagine being one of those astronauts, stranded on an alien orb with no chance of returning home. Of course, they wouldn't have been the first brave explorers to set out on a mission and never return. Ferdinand de Magellan, who was hacked and stabbed to death in 1521 while trying to circumnavigate the globe, and Sir John Franklin, who failed to find a passageway through the Arctic ice and instead perished in 1847, are only two of the more grisly examples.