Exploration: May 2011 Archives

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Calls for Continuing JFK Vision on 50th Anniversary of "Moon" Speech

"We should employ a 'flexible path' that utilizes the capabilities we develop for our longer-term goal to accomplish intermediate objectives along the way, such as: expanding our reach beyond low Earth orbit to provide access to our entire Earth-Moon system, as well as to special stable Sun-Earth orbital locations where orbiting science observatories will peer back in time to the very origins of the universe. We will also conduct missions to asteroids, comets and near-Earth Crossing Objects, that may one day pose a threat to Earth - perhaps exploiting their resources to sustain our presence in space, as we seek to understand their origins and the history of our solar system, and develop the ability to counter their potential threat to Earth. ... With regard to returning to the moon, we should not reengage in a second 'Moon Race'. We won that race more than forty-years ago, and there is no compelling reason to forgo our longer-term goal of permanent human presence on Mars by 2035, by diverting the resources needed to accomplish this important goal."

Once Upon A Time ...

NASA Commemorates Moonshot Moment's Golden Anniversary Agency Looks to the Future and Beyond Low-Earth Orbit

"Fifty years ago, a young president struggling with deepening international issues set a fledgling space agency on a course that would change the history of human exploration. NASA commemorates President John F. Kennedy's historic speech that sent humans safely to the moon with a series of activities and a commitment to continue the journey of discovery and exploration that started with a desperate race into space."

Message from the NASA Administrator: Reaching for New Heights

"It is hard to imagine that just 50 years ago, a young and vibrant President challenged a worried nation to reach for the seemingly impossible goal of landing humans on the moon and returning them safely to Earth. I was a teenager when President John F. Kennedy delivered his charge to Congress and the American people, but those words sparked my imagination, as they did for the millions of others who watched."

Did Kennedy Privately Denigrate the Moon Shot?, Science

"But this looks like a hell of a lot of dough to go to the moon when you can go -- you can learn most of that you want scientifically through instruments and putting a man on the moon really is a stunt and it isn't worth that many billions," Kennedy told James Webb, the head of NASA, on Sept. 18, 1963, just over two months before the president was assassinated in Dallas."

Apollo plus 50 - The meaning of the race to the moon, half a century after the starting gun, The Economist

"As to whether it is was worthwhile, there is no accountant's answer even 50 years on. The Apollo project cost about $150 billion in 2010 dollars, five times as much as the Manhattan Project and 18 times the cost of digging the Panama Canal. It is not easy today to remember how imperative it seemed back then for the free world to show that it could outperform its totalitarian rival. But the moon landing was more than a win in the cold war. It also changed the way people of all nations thought about themselves and the planet they share. It showed that it really was possible for man to step out of this world into another. Apollo 8's photographs of a little Earth, shining vulnerably in a great black emptiness, made people aware of the planet's fragility and helped to spur the green movement."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from May 2011.

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