Neil Armstrong

Sixty Years Of The Space Age: A Time Of Great Achievements And Technological Advancements

Yesterday, October 4, was the 60th anniversary of the Space Age, as the Soviet Union shocked the world by orbiting an artificial satellite, Sputnik I, beginning the Space Race, leading to the United States landing on the moon on July 20, 1969, after promotion by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. It was the age of Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and so many other heroic astronauts.

It transformed American thinking, and helped to promote science, math, and technology, and the importance of promoting higher education.

So under President Eisenhower, we saw the enactment of the National Defense Education Act in 1958, and the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with headquarters in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and later in Houston, Texas.

The Space Age promoted patriotism and excitement, as millions of Americans watched all of the launches of satellites and of astronauts on television.

This blogger remembers the uniqueness of the Space Age, and is still saddened by the lack of commitment to go further into space, with the argument that we could not afford the expenditure.

If we had continued the pace of the Space Age after the last mission to the moon in 1972, America would likely now have explored Mars, which now is a goal for the 2030s, after many lost decades.

The loss of interest in science, is a great tragedy, as many ignorant people have worked against it, instead advocating religion over science, to the detriment of the nation.

Barack Obama And The Space Program: New Direction!

President Obama outlined a new vision on space travel at the Cape Canaveral base of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in central Florida on Thursday.

His plan is to develop a new space vehicle and a heavy lift booster to carry it beyond earth; to have a manned mission to an asteroid within fifteen years; and to use this as a stepping stone to the moons of Mars, and then reach Mars itself by 2040.

Obama sees this as a new mission, rather than following those who say we should go back to the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin agrees with him, while interestingly, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Gene Cernan are critical of Obama’s abandonment of the space shuttle program, and his plan to promote privatization efforts and to count on the Russians and others for travel to the space station.

While there may be a short term loss of jobs at the Cape, it seems that Obama’s vision will, hopefully, be seen over time in the same light as John F. Kennedy’s vision of landing on the moon by the end of the 1960s. The one major issue now, above all, will be finding the necessary funding to accomplish this space goals that looks so promising and doable over time, with patience!