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From Apollo To The Space Shuttle... Does NASA Inspire?

30 Jul 2009, 20:35 UTC
From Apollo To The Space Shuttle... Does NASA Inspire?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

"Space Station Transit of Sun", Source: NASAwatch

Original written, Friday, 17 July 2009
Two events are bringing NASA a great deal of attention, with the added dimension that one looks back to a time of certainty and accomplishment while the other looks forward during a time of uncertainty and delays. The former event is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, and the latter is the Senate confirmation of Charles Bolden as the new NASA Administrator and Lori Garver as his deputy. Both events have led to a great deal of commentary, and is frequently the case when discussing the real and perceived value of NASA, supporters proclaim that NASA must be given the resources it needs because one of its missions is to inspire students to become scientists and engineers.
Here are just two examples of the "inspire" mantra:
1. In a June 22nd Op-ed in Space News entitled, "End of Shuttle Era Creates an 'Inspiration Gap'," Challenger Center President Daniel Barstow concludes, "... we can keep alive the spirit of exploration that drives our nation's soul and inspires our young people to dream big dreams,..."
2. During his Senate confirmation hearing, Charles Bolden described one ...

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