By Ryan Christie
An entire generation of Americans remembers the excitement of the Space Race of the 1960’s, when in 1961 President John F. Kennedy tasked the nation with a successful crewed moon landing by the end of the decade, which of course was fulfilled on July 20th, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, with Neil Armstrong uttering the famous words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Recently, the American space program has been reinvigorated by private industry, such as Elon Musk’s Space X. In this case, a company called Intuitive Machines out of Texas has successfully built a new lunar lander, named Odysseus, nicknamed “Odie”, and has become the first American made spacecraft to touch down on the moon in over 50 years. With the support of the aforementioned private industries, the American space program is heading towards a renaissance, with another crewed Moon landing planned for the coming years and even a Mars expedition sometime in the decades to come.
The American space program of the 2020’s has much in common with the space program of the 1960’s. Like in the 1960’s, the America of the 2020’s is an often confusing and turbulent place, a time where the country seems to be mired in self-doubt. Yet, watching the American flag placed on the Moon and being saluted by Buzz Aldrin no doubt stirred in many a feeling of hope. America’s scientific and technological capabilities are by far the best in the world, and should be a source pride for our nation.