May on the Moon
Posted: 20 May 2010
Still there are those who will ask why, as they did when confronted by Stephenson's Rocket. Well, as Michael Collins, command module pilot of Apollo 11, remarked, "Exploration is not a choice, it's an imperative." The car, or something like it, is the ideal means of exploration. It's why the Land Rover was invented. I enjoyed exploring Buckinghamshire in my Porsche the other day, so imagine how much fun it would be to have a whole Moon to drive around. I like the idea that the first humans to establish a semi-permanent presence on another heavenly body will have taken with them the most coveted of all worldly goods, a set of wheels.
But there's something else. The sad fact is that the car has developed only incrementally, and is still broadly the same as the one Henry Ford and Herbert Austin popularised - same powerplant, same basic layout, same system of control. Because it has never been especially useful in warfare, the car has not been pushed like the aeroplane has.