Apollo 17 forty years ago

Forty years ago this week, the United States launched the (so far) last manned expedition to the moon: Apollo 17.

The Apollo 17 expedition – a NASA movie >>>

In those days, we spoke of the conquest of space. Today the United States has no manned space capacity and has to rely on Russia instead. Constellation got cancelled some years ago, too, so there is no active development of new capability.

Both Russia and China are using tried-and-tested technology based on 1970s designs for their manned spacecraft. It seems that the US has gone astray somewhere in the quest for ever-more-advanced vessels. The Apollo project ended during the Vietnam War malaise in Washington and it seems that now similiar consequences have accompanied the end of the Iraq war. A bitter draught, indeed, for us advocating space exploration.

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