by Dan Eden
“I believe that this nation should commit itself, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth… no single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind or more important for the long range exploration of space.”
With his speech on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the conquest of the Moon as a national goal.
The space program, through NASA, was to have far reaching effects, developing new technologies and forcing the nation’s schools to emphasize the teaching of science and mathematics. It was a dramatic cultural revolution that eventually brought us things like velcro, Star Trek and the internet.
But even before it started, our exploration of the Moon was destined to be short-lived. Despite all the promises and science fiction movies, humans would not build bases on the Moon, mine for minerals or use it as a stepping stone to other planets. In fact, the Moon would soon be forgotten and ignored by space research – why?