Not Because They Are Easy

J. Dianne Dotson
4 min readAug 26, 2022
Author and science writer J. Dianne Dotson reflects on the return to moon missions.

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy spoke in Houston the words that would launch us to the Moon:

“We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

I want to underline not because they are easy here, now, in this moment, mere days before we return to the Moon after decades in the Artemis mission.

President Kennedy had emphasized, in his exhilarating speech, why we choose to go to the Moon, why we want to climb mountains, or cross the Atlantic. Really the crux of it is that we are human beings, and we seek and we strive always to find our place in the Universe, and in so doing we learn how to help our species and others on the only planet where we currently live.

My Own Space Story

Space is hard. We lose people to it. There is no sugar-coating that. The sacrifice for knowledge and inspiration is great. I wanted to be an astronaut as a child. And then, Challenger happened.

I still wanted to be an astronaut. But I realized I did not have the means to do so. I still chose science, however, and telling stories about space, and eventually writing articles about it also. I chose to push into challenges to expand my mind and my skills, not because they were easy, but because they were hard. I lived my life with the echo of Kennedy’s words ever in my ears, even though he was long gone by the time I was born.

Recently, I began watching the superb series For All Mankind on Apple TV+. I responded to it powerfully as a woman, and felt — in that way that a piece of art fundamentally moves us — that it was made for me. What would my life had been like, had the circumstances in the show occurred? An alternate space race, in which women were sent to the Moon early, and given greater agency in our endeavors. I will never know, except in fiction. But I want our future horizons to be broader than those of our past.

Space for All

J. Dianne Dotson

J. Dianne Dotson is a science fiction/fantasy/horror author, science writer, and artist. Repped by Laura Bennett. Visit @jdiannedotson