November 13, 2014

We Didn't Make History

A sincere congratulations to the European Union for the epic landing of a probe from the Rosetta spacecraft--the first such landing on a comet.

They did this with a landing area of just 550 yards in diameter and away from deep crevices, large boulders, and sharp peaks--it is amazing!

Their European space scientists are exclaiming and rightfully so, "We made history today."

The problem for us is that we--the U.S.of A.--didn't!

Yes, we landed the first man on the moon in 1969 and we haven't done it again since 1972.

I remember in grade school, with great pride and wonder, watching the first space shuttle taking flight--that was in 1981.

Since then, we had the horrific Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (2003), followed by the retirement of the shuttles altogether (2011).

Now, we rely on Russian rockets to bring supplies to the International Space Station and for our military and national security satellites.

Then, just a few weeks ago, we had the explosion of Virgin Galactic's SpaceshipTwo (2014) that is said to have been plagued with problems from inadequate rocket thrust, flight control system issues, and deficiencies in basic structural integrity. 

In the meantime, the Indians have made it to Mars on a dime. 

Where are we as a nation looking to advance into space--where resources and our very survival may someday soon depend?

Just think what those multi trillions of dollars spent (some would say squandered) in Iraq and Afghanistan (now being overrun by ISIS or threatened by the Taliban) as well as for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (uh, what did we really accomplish for all that money spent?).

Where we once led, and as children we stood in awe, now we stand in bewilderment and leave our children marveling at the victories and accomplishments of others. 

We can not/must not become complacent or stop investing strategically in our future--we need to act with urgency and commitment again for our nation to succeed. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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