Early morning summer moonwalk a distant memory

42 years ago this morning, two astronauts unloaded the first car on the moon. For anyone watching the live TV that Saturday morning, the clearest TV from the moon yet, the scenes were unreal.  The activities of the astronauts could easily be followed as they loaded the lunar rover, with magnificent Mount Hadley partially lit in the background. 

 Astronaut Jim Irwin loads the first lunar rover on the Moon July 31, 1971.

Astronaut Jim Irwin loads the first lunar rover on the Moon July 31, 1971.

For those who consider the Apollo program ancient history, the images must seem surreal.  One can not help but wonder why Earthlings cut short their visits to the Moon.  In just over three years, only six pairs of astronauts explored the lunar surface. Now, some forty-one years after the last explorations took place, we are no closer to planning , let alone returning to the Moon.