Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 1969

"Ambivalence" is the only word that comes to mind when I recall the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I'm a space junkie from the days of Sputnik 1 when I was just ten years old. By the time of the moon landings I was a young adult and I understood the global politics around the space race and the enormous costs involved. The night of the landing, those first steps, the wall-to-wall television coverage, that was amazing. But the reality was that the race was over, America had won and there was nothing more to prove. To underline the propaganda aspect of the whole thing, the US Congress began to scrutinize the expense, eventually cancelling one "science" mission and by the end of 1972 (Apollo 17) manned exploration of the moon was over never to return again.
You can imagine my delight when the X Prize was announced in 1996 inviting private enterprise to enter their own space race and even greater delight when the prize was won only 8 years later with an interesting libertarian twist. So lets hear it for to tourists in space without government subsidy!

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