As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our landing on the moon, many stories are coming out about the “glory days” of the American space program.
As someone who still gets the chills anytime I get a chance to watch a shuttle launch, or landing…I have to wonder what the heck is going on with our space program. I cannot help but feel we are in a gigantic dark age of manned space flight. It has been 40 years since a man has left earth’s orbit, or set foot on another planetary body.
I constantly hear and read about our desire to get us to Mars. When we decided to go to the moon, then President Kennedy mandated that we should do it within a decade. You know what happened? We actually fulfilled that goal.
You can say that times were different, but were they really? We were deep in the cold war, and looking down the barrel of a nuclear gun with the Soviet Union. We were fighting a war in Vietnam. Domestically civil rights issues were dominant. So you see while the issues were not the same, but the point is clear. In this era they decided to do something, and we as a country banded together to make it happen.
Nasa is saying it could be another decade, at the earliest, before another American sets foot on the moon. At this rate it is highly likely that the Chinese will manage to land on the moon before then.
I just have to ask what happened to us that we as a nation stopped caring about getting there first…or more importantly, getting there simply because it’s there.