Monday, July 20, 2009

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

Forty years ago today, Neil Armstrong uttered those words when he became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. Today you can read plenty of articles about that historic moment and also about moving past it and focusing our scientific research on saving planet Earth first.

For a deeper look at the politics behind NASA and the space missions, take check out Defining NASA: The Historical Debate over the Agency's Mission. Author W. D. Kay posits that, while most observers point to the 1969 Apollo moon landing as the single greatest accomplishment of NASA, prominent scientists, engineers, and public officials have been questioning the purpose of the U.S. space program, even at the height of its national popularity.

Defining NASA is a valuable and interesting contribution to NASA history that deserves serious consideration by the agency’s current policymakers.” — Isis