“One Giant Leap for Mankind” ….. July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong  - US Moon Landing 1969

Neil Armstrong – US Moon Landing 1969

There are times in American history when this country and its people accomplish the truly unbelievable.  Looking at the moon landing in the video below, and for this author, watching the people in Space Center Control, the ones whose brains made this event happen, just boggles the mind.  1969, the defining moment when John F. Kennedy’s dream and challenge were achieved:

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

Those were the good ‘ol days, when our children dreamed of becoming astronauts and exploring space rather than the make-believe world of video games.

And now, in 2015, we experience the poignancy.  Our space shuttles, the great orbiters that followed our moon landings, have long been mothballed to various science centers around the country.  The once proud and mighty space exploration program that fueled the dreams of children, for whom their  heroes were astronauts exploring far-off galaxies, is a shell of its greatness, a victim of federal budget cuts and ho-hum.  As we see in the following, the final voyage of space shuttle Enterprise on its way to, at that time, the Smithsonian Institution.  Now, when Americans go into space, we pay the Russians to take us in their spacecraft.  So who has had the last laugh in the “space race.”

Space shuttle Enterprise atop a 747 in New York (Michael Heiman-Getty Images)

Space shuttle Enterprise atop a 747 in New York (Michael Heiman-Getty Images)

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