It’s a question that has been asked since manned spaceflight began: With all the problems down on earth, is it really worth the billions it takes to send human beings into space?
At least as far as the editorial board of the NRC Handelsblad is concerned, the answer is an emphatic ‘yes.’
This editorial from the Dutch newspaper says in part:
“Human spaceflight is a worthy end in itself. In a far distant future, humanity will risk journeying to nearby planets and perhaps beyond. The foundation for this journey have to be built, so why not now?
“Cooperation is the only way to realize such a monumental project and is far preferable than a fragmented race. … the adventure itself will generate optimism and faith in progress. And in these times, that is something this planet badly needs.”
Translated By Meta Mertens
July 20, 2009
The Netherlands – NRC Handelsblad – Original Article (Dutch)
There are already enough anniversaries, but astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon on July 20th, 1969 is well worth remembering. These days, U.S. President Obama is considering if and how the space shuttle program, scheduled to end next year, should be continued. A renewed manned mission to the moon is the goal of the proposed Constellation Program. It was initiated five years ago by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush. The current president is far less enthusiastic. Next month, a special committee appointed by him will offer its advice.
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