Those words from American astronaut Neil Armstrong resonate today as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings. Oh, how I wish that I had been alive on July 20, 1969, to watch the moon landings on live television. It was a pivotal moment in history that left the late Walter Cronkite giddy with excitement. Going to the moon proved that in an age of unrest and uncertainty, America was still a land of explorers. It lifted the spirits of humanity and propelled us into the space age.
Today, 40 years later, many doubts and negative opinions exist about America's space program, NASA. NASA's plans to go back to the moon in 2020 and eventually to Mars in 2037 have evoked criticism and concern. 'Why continue sending man into space?' some ask. They cite budgets and finances, making the argument that it is too costly to send some humans on a million-dollar space excursion. But the words of fictional character Sam Seaborn of the West Wing come to mind.