Captain’s Last Speech

[11 April 2019]

In exactly 27 minutes, at our current speed, we will have travelled farther
than any human before us has. For the last few years, we have been on the
verge of making history – today,
we will make it. In 27 minutes, we will never be forgotten. People will
look back on us – us! – and say “They did the impossible. They did
the unfathomable. In their short lives, look what they accomplished.”
Children a hundred thousand years from now will say, “When I grow up,
I want to do what they did – I want to be like them.” People will look to us for
the rest of time to remember what humans can accomplish when
they put their minds to it.
Imagine: the glory and the wonder of pushing farther and farther out,
reaching deeper, fixing our eyes on the point just beyond the horizon
till we reach the apogee, the zenith, and we pass it, and then
we will push deeper still till we become the culmination of all the
human longings and fears and desires that brought us to this point.
This is the new horizon – this is what makes us human:
to tackle the impossible, to become the Moses in the wilderness, always pushing,
never satisfied, never saying “no.” Our only enemy is death, and she, too,
will be conquered one day. Death, you will die. Maybe not in our lifetimes.
Maybe not in our children’s lifetimes, or our children’s children’s. But someday,
someday you will die! We will triumph despite all odds. This is what makes us
human. We will never surrender, never say “no.” This is why we –

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