Here is an excerpt of an op-ed I just wrote for Space News. Would love to hear your thoughts. The entire article can be found at: http://www.space.com/spacenews/archive09/obrienoped_0119.html
Truth is, we have done nothing to equal (much less top) the accomplishments of Apollo. And even worse, we haven’t tried. We did something truly great, but then walked away from it. We had lightning in a bottle — and we opened the lid.
Our country has been pulling the rug out from under NASA ever since Apollo. Really, the agency is running on fumes from rocket fuel that was purchased (on a credit card no doubt) in 1961.
Why did we allow it to slip through our fingers? Sometimes I get the feeling we are the only nation that just doesn’t get it,because we are either cocky or stupid or distracted — or all of the above.