The 1950's, the dawn of the Space age... filled with optimism about the Future......Dreaming of the possibilities of the Possible.
The average person today, with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, mocks and ridicules the dreams of that time, before space flight was really a reality. But if it weren't for a dream of "what may be possible?" we could not stand from later achievements. And I get this unsettled awarenss that we are slipping. It just might bode us well if we had held on to some of that optimistic spirit today.
I've recently read reviews of some books written by our leading pioneers in space travel. One reviewer took great delight in pointing out how ignorant these scientists were thanks to his hindsight of how history played out (with Project Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and now the soon to be retired Space Shuttle). Does the reviewer not know that the very same people who wrote those books were those who actually lead those programs a decade later?
And today ... Can you even imagine the past generation would have quietly sat back and handed the reigns of leadership over to other countries like China? Not only in space, but in industry, economics and our standing in the world? We've become a nation of excuse-makers and whiners, and I wonder that as this nation is foundering and slipping, step by step, if we will ever recover that which is willingly being given up, which our forebears fought so hard and died for.
Today were facing the last American lead trips to space. After 50 years the space program is still in its infancy. Our leadership publicly and noisely claims to support advancement ... when it's convenient... while their record shows a consistent rule of cutting of funds, cutting programs, breaking of past promises and passing the buck of real leadership.
We need a return to the dream of the possibilties of the Possible, instead of being dragged down inept, bloated, leeching leadership, by being force-fed that the American Dream is not possible.