And so it ends not with a bang, but a whimper

**Posted by Phineas

Yesterday was the 42nd anniversary of America’s greatest triumph in space exploration, the first manned landing on the Moon. Here’s a video commemorating that moment:

(via GinTheGin)

And late last night, 42 years after Neil Armstrong first stepped on another world and 49 years after John Glenn became the first American to enter orbital space (1), our manned space program came to an end with the landing of the shuttle Atlantis.

In the dark, as if to spare us the embarrassment:

(via The Jawa Report)

And, yes, I know there are plenty of reasons why a private space exploration program is a good idea; I even agree with many of the arguments. But I don’t want to hear them just now.

I’m not in the mood.

Footnotes:
(1) Of course, Alan Shepard went first in Freedom 7, but that was a suborbital flight. Impressive and heroic, but not quite slipping the “surly bonds of Earth.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

3 thoughts on “And so it ends not with a bang, but a whimper

  1. I heard a radio review with Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) yesterday, in which he was asked for his take on the last Shuttle mission. He stated that he felt that the government did not want America to lead or be exceptional in any way, and that motivated their gutting of NASA. I’d said for some time now that NASA had to go because Obama wanted to let the rest of the world catch up. Not fair for America to be first all the time, you know.

    I hope that private industry is allowed to fill the void, and that the government doesn’t immediately cripple private industry with overarching regulation.

    And I hope that history remembers Obama VERY unkindly for being the President who hamstrung NASA.

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