Assigned Reading: The Lunacy of our Retreat from Space
(FROM: National Review Online)
I know that this is a break from a lot of the topics that have been covered extensively here on America’s Right, but I believe this Krauthamer piece at the National Review is an important statement on American condition today.
Krauthammer outlines the sad state we find ourselves just mere decades after winning the space race and landing men on the moon:
America’s manned space program is in shambles. Fourteen months from today, for the first time since 1962, the United States will be incapable not just of sending a man to the moon but of sending anyone into Earth orbit. We’ll be totally grounded. We’ll have to beg a ride from the Russians or perhaps even the Chinese.
And then he describes the rationale for our return:
Why do it? It’s not for practicality. We didn’t go to the moon to spin off cooling suits and freeze-dried fruit. Any technological return is a bonus, not a reason. We go for the wonder and glory of it. Or, to put it less grandly, for its immense possibilities. We choose to do such things, said JFK, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” And when you do such magnificently hard things — send sailing a Ferdinand Magellan or a Neil Armstrong — you open new human possibility in ways utterly unpredictable.
Our space program can’t restore our economy or protect us from terrorist attacks, but I believe it can restore a sense of national spirit and a remembrance of what it means to be an American. The ambition, unity, and optimism is something that this country could use right now.