First space walk Ed White

Friday, 3 June 2011

 On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced before a joint session of Congress that the United States space program would have, as its goal, a manned mission to the moon by the end of the decade.The “space race” was of the greatest importance because the Soviet Union, which had launched the first satellite in 1957, had on April 12, 1961, sent Yuri Gagarin into space – the first space mission by a human.
On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon.
President Kennedy’s clear commitment stands in contrast to NASA’s mission today. Although President George W. Bush and President Obama both have said America will continue manned missions with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars, plans to return to the moon have been put aside and the Mars mission is just a dream.
In addition, once the current space shuttle mission is completed, only one more shuttle flight is planned.
Downsizing and privatizing America’s space projects has a great impact on Florida, which is losing thousands of jobs in the short term. Scientists say technology in general will be harmed if America loses interest in space flight.
Space flight champions are quick to point out the many everyday advances that trace their origin to engineers solving problems related to space flight. Those include advanced telecommunications, resilient materials and electronics breakthroughs in computing and other fields.
Critics say manned flight is pointless because robots could complete more missions at less cost and with less risk.
What do you think? Fifty years after President Kennedy committed America to go to the moon, should NASA’s priority be manned space missions? Take our poll.
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