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Apollo 11 at 50: The Peak Of American Achievement And Glory?

20 July 2019 @ 17:08

Fifty years ago, two American Men landed on, and then walked on, the Moon.

Forty-seven years ago, the last American Man walked on the Moon.


-Over at SteynOnline, commentator Calvert Whitehurst remarks:

The late-60’s-early 70’s saw the first wave of dogmatized progressives born around the end of WWII or just after complete their university education and enter the workforce — most of them in professions in the public sector, law, and the information and entertainment media, where they were crucially positioned to begin the slow transformation of American — and indeed Western — society and culture. The passing of a torch to a new generation — as JFK called it — is an incremental process that takes a good 20 years to complete. But the time the torch was completely passed, the people receiving it decided they didn’t want it and doused it in a bucket of water. Over the last 50 years or so, we have been spending down the financial, technological and intellectual capital accumulated over the centuries — and at an accelerating rate — until at some point there will be nothing left.

That’s a decent explanation.  What became known at the New Left despised America Achievements, but they made only a bit of headway in their efforts.

It took the New New Left, boring from within our institutions for several decades to have a real impact on the ‘financial, technological and intellectual capital’.

Fortunately, many Americans [although they are decreasing in numbers and strength] refused to be doused, so, perhaps, there is Hope.

-Mark Steyn has not been cheerful about our future space prospects:

Those “Space Age” astronauts were men of boundless courage and determination: they strapped themselves in and stared not just death in the face but death in hideous and unknown ways. Yet they were also ordinary men, who were called upon to do extraordinary things and rose to the challenge. These days we are unmanned in more than merely the sense of that Luna 2 expedition. Glenn and Armstrong are gone, and their surviving comrades are old and stooped and wizened, and yet the only giants we have. Space may still be the final frontier, but today, when we talk about boldly going where no man has gone before, we mean the ladies’ bathroom. Progress.

Once again: the Left has distracted us from Noble Pursuits.

-As Mark also remarked:

…Great civilizations can survive a lot of things, but not impoverishment of spirit….

Here is a key observation: that Spirit that prompted us to fulfill JFK’s challenge by the end of the 1960’s seems to have become severely anorexic — and Pathetic.  An example, James Rogers reporting:

Since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, the U.S. has been relying on Russian Soyuz rockets, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, to get astronauts to the Space Station.

We should be ashamed that the Fascist Russians are our space taxi drivers.

-Today, at the Kennedy Space Center, Vice President Pence said:

Speaking at Kennedy Space Center on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the Orion capsule that will take American astronauts back to the Moon is ready.

“The Orion crew capsule for the Artemis mission is complete and ready to begin preparations for its historic first mission,” he said.

The Artemis program will land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024 and establish a sustainable human presence on Earth’s natural satellite. Artemis will also make history by landing the first woman on the Moon.

“America will return to the Moon within the next five years and the next man and the first woman on the Moon will be American astronauts,” he said: “We’re going back.”

“Within the next year we will send American astronauts into space on American rockets from American soil,” said Pence, who was flanked by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin during his speech.

Pence, who is chairman of the National Space Council, cited President Kennedy’s famous vow in 1961 to land an American on the Moon by the end of that decade. “Make no mistake, the Moon was a choice, an American choice,” he said. “The achievement was inevitable.”

Pardon me if I don’t join in cheering this Populist, Neo-Caesarian rhetoric.  Actions speak louder than words, especially considering what’s been happening at NASA since 1975 [see next section below].

Don’t get me wrong, I love that the VP is not giving an inch to the Left, which has been downplaying Apollo 11 as what it clearly was: An American Achievement.  American Citizens and Naturalized American Citizens made this happen.  It was our Masterstroke, our Triumph.  —It was also a major battle victory in The Cold War:

I do a lot of thinking today — about somebody who had — the guts to see that we were being outshone — outshined in the Cold War by the Soviet Union, and to say, ‘What can we do’?” [Buzz] Aldrin said of President John F. Kennedy and his resolve to make the U.S. the first nation to reach the surface of the Moon.

Frank Borman, Commander of Apollo 8:

The Apollo program wasn’t designed to be a great scientific venture or means of exploration. It was a battle of the Cold War. We were in a desperate battle with the Soviets, and that’s why we were pressing.


…I’d like to think that the success of the Apollo program was an important first step in the end of the Soviets.

Indeed, now that we have been able to see inside some of the Soviet Archives, it was.

-The Vice President also remarked: “We’re investing in new rockets, new spaceships,” Pence added. “We’re unleashing the burgeoning private space industry.”

As actual and real reporter on all-things Space, Bob Zimmerman, has reported over at his Insightful and Accurate site, Behind The Black:

…internal NASA sources say the launch [of Artemis-I] can’t happen earlier than late 2021, and then only if the agency gets a lot more money, over and above the more than $25 billion that Congress has alocated [sic].

Falcon Heavy was developed for $500 million. It took seven years, and is now operational, having flown three times. If the first launch of SLS does not occur until 2021 it will have taken NASA seventeen years to make that flight, for fifty times the money.

We Americans have been lucky — very lucky — that private businessmen, especially Elon Musk and his SpaceX, have stepped-up to plate and have been hitting home runs, while NASA and others have been hitting foul balls — Mr. Musk just has balls.

But let us not end on a sour note on this Grand Anniversary…

-Professor William Jacobson, over at Legal Insurrection, has some fond memories of this day with wonderful videos that I highly recommend.  Click here.

Mark Hertling makes sure we don’t forget Command Module Pilot Mike Collins [tip of the fedora to Jeff Goldstein]:

As we celebrate Apollo XI, someone said Collins was the “unfortunate” one who delivered the others to the moon but didn’t get to walk on it. I’d suggest, instead, he was the most selfless member of the crew. True leadership: supporting others as they get the glory.

Mr. Collins tends to get lost in the shuffle, which is bloody sad.  A True Hero and a Man Of Virtue.

-This bit of Funk was inspired by Apollo [it was also my theme song when I DJ’d a bit]:

-I remember my Father making sure my Brother and I watched the live coverage.

For me, one of the best moments was when ‘Buzz Aldrin became the first man to fly to the moon and play “Fly Me To The Moon” on the moon — thanks to the portable cassette recorder he took with him’.

Speaking of that song…why not end this post on it:

-Oh, and by-the-way:


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