Wednesday, July 6, 2011
July 6, 2011
In 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men (Americans of course) to walk on the moon, I covered the flight for CBS News from NASA's Manned Spaceflight Center, just outside Houston, Texas. We all, employees and reporters alike, thought it the start of something big. We wondered: How long before we reach Mars or maybe Jupiter? We were, of course, all wrong.
The American manned space flight program ends with the launch Friday of the last scheduled space shuttle flight. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad one.
We Americans want our government to pay for many different things: Social Security for us old folks, food stamps for the hungry, the best weapons for our military, and so on and on and on. Can't do it all without taxing us to death? Probably true. Have to pick and choose? Certainly. Where should a space program come? I'm not a bit sure.
I'm probably enough of an old-fashioned liberal to think that helping the poor and hungry should be high on the list along with health care and education. But you could certainly have a swell national argument about all that.
Maybe we should.