20 July 2010

If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we put a man on the moon?

I remember my dad waking us up to come downstairs and watch the footage of Neil Armstrong on the moon. His historic first step was taken forty-one years ago today.



I still have the envelope of 8 X 10s that NASA sent to me in response to a letter I wrote. I eagerly anticipated every moon launch that followed, and dreamed about adventure in space - our only modern equivalent of the age of exploration.

Yet in school, and on television, I often heard people arguing that all that space program money would be better spent on feeding the poor here at home.

"If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we (insert your cause here)?!"

So here we are, 41 years later, having abandoned manned spaceflight, and asking ourselves, "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we put a man on the moon?"

In the end, or at least for the time being, those who argued the money would be better spent on earth have won the day, as present entitlement spending far exceeds the NASA budgets of yesteryear.

But has that made us a better country?

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