I know I should be writing about important issues, such as the Conservative leadership result, or the developing crisis in the Straits of Hormuz. But as someone who was six years old 50 years ago, I have been following the celebrations of the half centenary of the first moon landing.

I have been fascinated by exploration – especially in space. In Parliament, I am vice chair of the All Party Space Group, seeking to expand the UK’s not insubstantial presence in an industry that has a huge impact on all our lives.

What happened in 1969 was an incredibly achievement. It was just 66 years earlier that Wilbur and Orville Wright first achieved powered flight. It was just 22 years earlier that man first went supersonic in the Bell X1 aircraft.

It was in 1961 that the Russians first put a man into space, completing an orbit of the earth in 108 minutes. Yet by 1969 we had created what is still the most powerful machine ever built by mankind – the Saturn V rocket – and taken two men to the moon and (critically) brought them back again.

It was not without controversy. Funding for the space programme came from taxpayers’ money and it was as much a political endeavour as a scientific one, the USA seeking to outperform the USSR.

Gil Scott-Heron’s poem Whitey on the Moon highlighted the fact that the US government chose to spend billions on space exploration when there was still poverty and racial inequality back home.

Indeed, pressure on budgets for largely political reasons led to the cancelling of the Apollo programme after Apollo 17, meaning that just 12 human beings have ever walked on another planet

In the 21st century, space exploration is dominated by the private sector and is a largely commercial venture. That is how it should be and it is interesting that the money invested has been made largely from another modern invention - the internet.

But the views of those astronauts have encapsulated important arguments on climate change. Looking back on earth from the moon highlights just how vulnerable and isolated we are, our thin blue atmosphere a fragile and finite resource.

But what epitomises the events of 50 years ago is the extraordinary bringing together of humanity in this one common endeavour. For a few days, the world united to watch a man go for a walk.