Professor David Mathews
11 May 2015
Privatization Is The Future of Space Exploration
Mankind’s exploration of space is approaching its 60-year anniversary. In its splendor, space exploration is a very expensive task. Just recently, the government has begun to allow private corporations to bid on and compete for the job of putting Americans in space. NASA is coming to realize that for us to progress in space, we need to do it more efficiently, and for less money.
It all started when the Soviet Union launched a small satellite the size of a basketball into orbit. Sputnik was launched on October 4, 1957 (Darling 412). On April 12, 1959, the Soviets put the first human, Yuri Gargarin into space (Darling 145). In those first few years of human space exploration the Soviet Union distanced itself from the United States. It would take the United States two additional years to send astronaut Alan Shepard, Jr. into space aboard Freedom 7 (Darling 272).
In May 1961 President John F. Kennedy outlined the goal of sending a man to the moon by the end of the decade. He stated, “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth” (Kennedy). That speech set into motion a chain of events, which culminated with the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. It also began an era of excessive over-spending on the space program.
In total NASA sent 12 people to the moon before the American public grew disinterested in spaceflights that now seemed to be routine. Apollo 17 was the last mission that sent humans to the moon (Darling 33). The final three Apollo missions were canceled due to an economic recession and low public intere...
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