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Published on May 13th, 2014 | by Nick Adams

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US Relies on Putin to Get to Space: Reaching for the Soviets, instead of the Stars

May 13th, 2014 | by Nick Adams

One of my earliest memories was my Kindergarten play in 1989.

Every student had to turn up wearing a “costume”. Mine was an astronaut.

My father was just twelve when Neil Armstrong took his first steps- for man and mankind. Needless to say space exploration and all things space had a special place in his heart and mind.

So, when the Kindergarten play coincided with the twenty-year anniversary of the moon landing, he took great pride and effort in designing my “costume”.

My “costume” had the full trimmings and was pretty impressive- white pants, white t-shirt, a space pack well-served by the top of a box painted white and glued on, antennas and a couple of American flags stuck on as well. Now, bear in mind, this is in Australia! It was easily the best costume of the night.

Where am I going with this?

Well, right around the world, America’s space exploration inspired people.

I consider it a national tragedy that America has seemingly abandoned space, a frontier it conquered. It is sad that this great chapter of American exceptionalism remains only as mere tourist attractions.

It should be a matter of great concern to all Americans that America is unable to go into low-earth orbit, but other powers can. Not to mention, America has to hitch a ride with the Russians to get to the Space Station.

Financial limitations given American debt are understandable but space not only carries with it an essential symbolism, but an intellectual infrastructure. I tell you what would be good for America: fewer entitlement programs; new space programs. If the welfare state wasn’t waxing, space could still be an American pursuit.

As with any departure America makes in any arena, this void has been, and will continue to be, filled by other powers, most likely less benign and desirable.

America should never give any indication that it has stopped reaching for the stars.

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