Keith Reed cuts through all the phony excuses to reveal the truth. We CAN go to the Moon, Mars and beyond but our leaders just don't want to and just don't care if China and others take over leadership in space and technology. The problem is NOT technological or even budgetary (we could go to Mars for a fraction of bailout or Iraq/Afghanistan costs); the problem IS willpower--Americans can do anything we set our minds to; yet as it stands currently, Americans will never leave Earth orbit absent a dramatic reversal in leadership.
Read and share the article and you'll see Mr. Reed is spot on in his analysis:
"The time between when an American flew the first heavier-than-air flying machine until an American flew solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean: 24 years.
The time between when an American flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean until an American first broke the sound barrier: 20 years.
The time between when an American first broke the sound barrier until an American first flew into space: 14 years.
The time between when an American first flew into space and an American walked on the moon: Eight years.
The estimated time between when an American last walked on the moon and a man may be ready to return to the moon: 60 years.
In all likelihood, as well, the next person to walk on the moon will not be an American; rather, he or she will most likely be Chinese, Russian or Indian.
This is a national disgrace."
Please read and forward to others his entire article, it's worth it if you are concerned about our nation's future.In other words, it took us 66 years to go from the dunes of Kitty Hawk to the plains of Mare Tranquillitatis, yet almost the same time will elapse between Apollo 17, the United States' last manned lunar mission, and when the next person might continue with this exploration.
The author also correctly identifies the Augustine Commission as a turning point from ""We can." to "We can; we just don't want to." Indeed, the entire purpose of the Augustine Commission from the start was was to lay the case for "we just don't want to." Absent a complete reversal in leadership, Americans will never leave Earth orbit again in spite of apparent (but half-baked) plans, and will only watch as the rest of the world leaves us in their dust both in space and economically.
This is why the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration was founded (www.SaveMannedSpace.com) to create and implement a workable strategy to build grassroots support for a bold, JFK-like space program which will then force the politicians to take real action; to once again follow in JFK's footsteps by following his prescription for success: We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, and The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space. (JFK at Rice University, 1962)