Forty years ago, on July 20, 2009 man landed on the moon. Celebrations will soon be ensuing. The Las Vegas Review Journal writes; "40TH ANNIVERSARY: Moon landing taught us much about science -- and ourselves". Celebrating, this success should be a joyous event, but it is a bittersweet event since we are celebrating a past event and not a new success. When a country celebrates its past over its future, it is a country that has lost its will to move forward.
I would even go so far as to say that the meltdown in our economy and the failure of the National and State governments to balance their respective budgets demonstrate that our corporate and political leaders are, sad to say, incompetent. If we can't resolve our domestic issues, how can we move forward?
I will even throw-in a "fringe" Russian Russian academic Igor Panarin who has predicted that the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. This prediction was covered by the Wall Street Journal: "As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S." Now, I don't think that is going to happen, but it does raise (from an outsiders viewpoint) the specter that the US is a dysfunctional country. Our lack of progress in space and our inability to solve domestic issues are symptomatic of that dysfunction. A sad truth.
I have additional comment here. On an upbeat note, enjoy July 20, 2009 and celebrate our accomplishments of that day in 1969.
Update: The Washington Post (7/13/2009) published an article: "Space Station Is Near Completion, Maybe the End". According to the article: "In the first quarter of 2016, we'll prep and de-orbit the spacecraft," says NASA's space station program manager, Michael T. Suffredini. Whether this announcement is simply political gamesmanship, I don't know, but it potentially points to a further reduction in our space program.