60’s Nostalgia- The Moon Landing

Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin

Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr

A Big Step for Mankind

If you are going to talk about the 60’s, clearly one of the most memorable days was July 20, 1969: the day man first landed on the moon. It was a proud day and the culmination of the space program initiated by JFK. Sadly that triumph marked the beginning of end of manned space exploration.

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Of course we would build a Moon Base

Growing up in mid century America, I had no doubt that we would have a moon base in my lifetime. The Apollo Program leading up to the moon landings only reinforced that belief. In July 1969 I was watching the live broadcast of the first steps on the moon. Everyone I knew was doing the same thing. It was unbelievable and exciting. Man had escaped Earth and landed on the moon. Looking back after 40 years, it all looks so primitive. Still with all our advancements, we no longer have the technology to make a moon landing. We threw it all away for the worhtless space shuttle and now we don’t even have that. We have to buy rockets from the Frenh – THE FRENCH!!! Long past any time I expected commercial space travel, we don’t even have a useful high orbit space station or a way to reach it from Earth.

We lost our vision

I don’t know where the Space Program failed. Clearly no President since JFK has had a vision for space. I remember that America was proud to watch the Moon Landing on that summer night in 1969. We knew that we were the best and that our country could go wherever it wanted. Who knew at the time that where we wanted to go was nowhere? The future in 2001-A Space Odyssey showing commercial space travel was the next step. Interesting that the flights in that movie were operated by commercial companies – not the government. Thank heaven for Sir Richard.

In fact the only progress in space exploration (and commercialization of space) has been from private companies. It appears that just as we have learned about so many things lately, government is not the answer. I hope that private enterprise can restore the optimism about space that was common during my youth. Man must move into space. It is our destiny.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Hansi February 3, 2011, 8:46 am

    Oh so true….I’m still waiting for that personal helicopter in my back yard, that they promised me on Disneyland.
    Hansi’s last Blog Post ..Dear Hansi

  • Bob@JuicyMaters February 3, 2011, 7:29 pm

    I hate to go political on ya Ralph, but as much pride as there was, imagine if instead of our whole country opening a space exploration can of whupass on the soviets it had been just a company? Boeing? GM? GE (it was a good company then).

    Big bad soviets beaten by a car company? The embarrassment would have stopped the cold war dad…kinda like that car part commercial with the rattlesnake whose rattle had bn replaced by the baby rattle.

    I’m a strict constitutionalist, and I don’t see space exploration, beyond defense, being constitutional.

    I do agree with one thing though…Go Sir Richard!

    • Ralph February 4, 2011, 7:59 am

      Bob,
      It’s funny. I never considered that it wasn’t something that the country should do. On reflection I agree but I grew up thinking it was natural – and, of course I trusted the government back in those days.

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