It took a monumental effort by the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) and billions of dollars to reach this point. The Apollo Missions’ accidents, successes, and space leadership have drastically changed America’s space program. On the 25th of May, President Kennedy shocked the nation with his historical speech to put an American on the moon before the decade was out. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard!” Kennedy announced. In the rest of his speech he challenged the Nation’s smartest minds to build a rocket capable of lifting a man to the Moon and returning him safely to the earth.
Retrieved November 28, 2013, from http://www.mars-one.com/en/ International Space Station. (n.d.). NASA. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://www.nasa.gov/content/infographic-15-years-of-the-international-space-station/#.UpgsqsRQGSp Juarez, J. (1970, January 1).
President Barack Obama on Space Exploration in the 21 st Century. Retrieved from NASA: http://www.nasa.gov Smith, U. R. (2013, April 17). U.S. Needs Vision, Plan to Reignite Space Program. Retrieved from Chron: www.chron.com Stine, D. D. (2009, February 2).
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Effects of the Moon Walk On July 21, 1969 three men impacted the world in a big way. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were not the first men to travel in space but they were the first to walk on the moon. Eight years previously, President John F. Kennedy made a speech to the people of the United States that it should be a national goal to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. During the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union were a “who’s bigger and better” contest with each other and space exploration was a part of that. The Soviet Union had begun the space race in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik I, an artificial satellite.
Technological advancements have made it conceivable for NASA to begin human missions to Mars by 2030 (“NASA’s Bolden”). The scientific community is working diligently on ways to reduce the cost of colonizing Mars, but undoubtedly it will cost billions of dollars to establish and maintain a permanent colony on the planet. Although opponents of space colonization believe it’s a waste of money to invest in Mars, Mars colonization has the potential to alleviate the overpopulated Earth's declining resources of water, fossil fuels, food and jobs. The demand on earth for its resources at this current level is one that will be impossible to maintain in the future. Global warming is clear evidence that the current global population and industrialization has put the sustainability of Earth in doubt.
The president reflected on the shutdown of the historic program, “The shuttle did some extraordinary work in low orbit experiments, the International Space Station, moving cargo. It was an extraordinary accomplishment and we’re very proud of the work that it did. But now what we need is that next technological breakthrough.” (Malik- “Obama says last space shuttle launch ends one era, but opens another.”). NASA has its eyes set on capturing an asteroid and placing it in high orbit around the moon for astronauts to explore, an unmanned mission to mars by 2017 that also includes a possible manned flyby mission of Mars and Venus by 2021, and a trip to Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, by 2025 (Foust). With these bold goals set for the future, private enterprises do not have the funding for these missions, but thanks to the United States government, NASA will.