Friday, August 26, 2011

Apollo 11 - The First Giant Leap for Mankind

Forty years ago, Americans collectively put men on the moon. That is not to denigrate the contributions of the engineers, scientists, astronauts, and employees of NASA, whose achievements and exploits can only be outlined in this publication, but rather to celebrate the fact that, for a time, Americans were overwhelmingly in support of a great, seemingly impossible undertaking that called for reaching past previously defined capabilities and beyond to a future that had yet to be built. We put men on the moon. In the years to follow, that simple fact became a catch phrase with negative connotations attached to all the ills of the country and the world. "We can put a man on the moon but we can't... cure the common cold, win the war on poverty, end racism," etc. But of course the space program proved that we could, if the will was there. The space program, as embodied in the achievements of the Apollo missions, achieved its successes because the collective will of the nation was strong enough to overcome all the doubters and naysayers. NASA proved that, with enough determination, the nation had the talent and resources to achieve almost anything.