Tuesday, 31 May 2011

To the moon! (1961)

I missed the actual 50th anniversary on May 25th, but we are still within the same week, so I suppose I could claim some degree of topicality.

50 years ago this week, President Kennedy announced that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

What an exciting announcement that would have been.  Does anyone remember whether it sent a ripple around the world?  I don't, but then again I was only 4 months old at the time.  At least I remember Apollo 11 and even Apollo 8's first orbit of the moon.

The burning question for me is whether people actually believed presidents in those days.  If an announcement like that was made today, I think we would all expect it to be canceled again within a few years, usually having wasted half the money with nothing much to show for it.  (Think of the Superconducting Super Collider.)

How long will it be before USA pulls out of the international fusion project ITER (again)?

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