Essay On Space Race

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What We Need is Another Space Race Between the years of 1968 and 1972, there were nine Apollo missions to the Moon, and twelve men set foot on its surface. Humans haven’t been back to Earth’s only natural satellite in 44 years. Think of the advances in technology that have happened between then and now. NASA doesn’t even have their own spacecraft these days, if they send someone to the International Space Station, the astronauts have to hitch a ride on a Russian craft. The Saturn V rocket that took men to the Moon in 1969 is still the largest to ever launch. What happened in the last 44 years that made us so uninterested in the wonders of the universe? It seems like the federal government has decided that space travel and exploration …show more content…
During the Apollo program, NASA had the Saturn V rocket, the largest rocket ever launched, equipped with the Apollo spacecraft and a lunar lander. At the height of the space race, NASA’s budget was around 4% of the annual budget; the space agency was thriving and doing incredible things. At the rate we were going, humans on Mars seemed not far off. Fast forward 44 years, and the budget for NASA is $18.5 billion annually, just 0.5% of the country’s $3.4 trillion budget. Since 2011, after the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis, NASA hasn’t even had their own spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station; if they need to send people or supplies, they have to hitch a ride on a Russian craft. After a budget transition in 1976 the annual budget for the space program fell below 1% of the federal budget and has been in a steady decline ever since. What happened in the four years between 1972 and 1976 that made the federal government decide that space travel and exploration was such a trivial matter? It brings a sense of pride knowing that as a nation, we have gone further than anyone before us, but at some point, that stopped

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