April 24, 2024

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To the moon and back

To the moon and back

(Michael Hogue)

we, re back! And by that I mean back to the moon.

We're back 50 years after being the first to take people there and drop them off and bring them back safely to our homeland.

Some nations are born with a destiny. I've always believed that pioneering space exploration was part of our mission.

If they haven't done it yet, the naysayers will start complaining about itt 118 million dollars In NASA taxpayer money The money paid to participate in the private project would have been better spent elsewhere. I'm sure a nation the size of ours could have more than one priority. Given our past success in space, this should remain important to us. If anything, it should reinforce the idea that with truly focused effort, it is also possible to overcome other seemingly intractable challenges such as poverty, hunger and climate.

The truth is that while we argue among ourselves about the things we've done wrong as a nation (and there are many), no nation in the history of this planet has done more to shape the future of the world in space than the United States. . We should be proud of that.

While others in the world such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean President Kim Jong Un hope to take us back to the past, this mission is about the future.

The successful landing of Odysseus, known as “Ody,” once again elevates us to the front of the line in mapping the “new frontier.”

There are no people on board the spacecraft — that will come later — and unlike NASA's Apollo project, which spent billions in government money, this is the project of a private American company, Houston-based Intuitive Machines, that is leading the mission. The rest of us are along for the ride at a much lower cost. Also worth noting: Intuitive Machines is a Texas company. Given our state's current battles across borders, diversity in the workplace, who can vote, and the legal troubles faced by the state's top law enforcement official, it's a refreshing indication that at least something of what's happening in the Lone Star State isn't right. I headed in the right direction.

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I was a freshman in college during the last manned mission to the moon. That was half a century ago. While other countries in the world have tried to catch up (and they should), we are still leading (and we should). Abandoning this goal, the destiny of leading our planet into tomorrow, must be off the table. For many reasons, we have lost focus over the past 50 years, but charting our world must remain one of our national missions.

Having an American vision is a good thing. While some in our political leadership support limiting our aspirations as a nation, their ideas represent a departure from the national path we have taken since the nation's inception.

Once again, we have made mistakes as a nation. Our imperfect pursuit of a “more perfect union” has progressed only fitfully. However, the world in space has seen that we have taken the lead in revealing what is out there. Let's hope, after we've lost our mojo, that a little Texas-built spacecraft sitting on the moon will get our country back on track.

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