Taking Stock - January 18, 2016

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If you turned on your telly on Friday afternoon you might well have seen a Brit stepping where no Brit has stepped before.

Quite an achievement given our 19th century push to turn a good third of the map a delightful shade of salmon pink (given our top nation status at that point I can only assume it’s the colour we chose).

But here we’re talking about space - the final frontier if you want to believe good old Jim Kirk.

I don’t know if our own Major Tim is a fan of the sci-fi classic but I’ll wager his brief adventure into the unknown featured a darn site fewer scantily clad women and polystyrene rocks.

And while I grant him a space walk is kind of dangerous, I’ll wager he’s never strolled down Central Drive at half eleven on a Friday.

Joking aside it’s good to see eyes once again being turned beyond our planet.

It’s about time.

I’m not going to claim to have grown up in the future frenzy of the 1960s when everything was going to be nuclear-powered and one minor mistake away from the need for International Rescue. But still, in the 80s we had dreams – self-lacing shoes, 3D Jaws, hovercars and an assumption that by now man would have stepped on Mars.

It might well have been wishful thinking from the teacher when I was told at primary school how I’d be just in time for the first one-way misison But the truth is, since then things have rather ground to a halt.

Personally I find it pretty amazing we have the technology to track a jog along the Prom by satellite but nobody has bothered to go to the moon since 1972.

But finally this week people other than my five-year-old son are talking with enthusiasm about space - David Bowie, rather tragically, once again providing the soundtrack.

I’d like to think a Brit in space will help inspire a generation - to tap into their curiosity and ensure the dreams of my childhood are the reality of the next generation.