This week has seen one of the most monumental upheavals in political history, of that there is no doubt whatsoever. In the UK and the United States over the past few months, the political landscape has changed completely. But politics is not something we really want to discuss on this blog post, or is it?
When politics is such an instrumental part of the space program, it is our right and duty to ask questions like “will the new leaders of our nation continue to move forward with space exploration?”
What became evident, once the fog of the election results in the United States did begin to clear, was that the new incumbent may want to adopt a very different approach to the previous leaders of the free world.
It appears from various online news sources that Donald Trump will put more investment in to human space flight programs. His mantra of “Let’s make America great again” clearly striking a chord with millions of people, who, along with the electoral college, delivered him to the White House with a landslide (electoral college wise) result.
“Let’s make America great again” instantly made us think “what was it that America did, that made it great before”… and the simple and factual answer that came back was the space program. At no time before or since those heady days in the 1960s and early 1970s have America been so lauded on the world stage as when the Apollo program ran. Most of the planet watched as Neil and Buzz set foot for the first time on another world.
It is said by many political commentators, that between the Apollo program, and the final act of ASTP, where the Soviet Union and America came together in orbit, signalled the true start of the end of the cold war. How true this is, I guess we will never fully know, but, again, we appear to have a world leader, wanting to focus on infrastructure, jobs and building success in that great nation of states.
How and if this achieved, we can only wait and see. Four days, let alone four years (or more) is a long time in politics, but with the opportunity and technology now very much in place for a return to the Moon and onward to Mars, one thing we do know is that nothing, in history, has ever galvanised a nation like the space race did.
John F Kennedy was initially regarded as possibly being too young, or maybe not experienced enough. But his reforms and goals defined monumental changes in the history of the world. Yes, he was not perfect, but then no human being is.
Whilst there is a backlash against the latest President in waiting, over his past statements and views, would now not be the perfect time to hold him to his promise of making his nation “great” again, and utilising the one thing that America has done, that no other nation on Earth has come close to matching… placing humans on another world, as a focal point for future greatness.
Building roads, fixing crumbling infrastructure, is a laudable and much needed cause.. but true greatness could be achieved, by not only doing that, but doing the other things… not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
Nobody gave the President elect a chance of winning 6 months ago.. so he has a track record of proving people wrong. Can we hope that in such a positive way, he can prove everyone wrong..
It would be a brave step… to a brave new world