I was listening to a podcast this morning when someone mentioned we went to the moon for political reasons. I’m not denying there were major political ramifications, but wasn’t it more than world politics?
My on-line search tuned up an article from July 25, 2014 entitled “The Continued Socioeconomic Impact of Apollo 11”. According to its authors, “Though initially the great space race was another battle ground for the cold war with the USSR, it lit a fire of stimulus for multiple generations.” The moonshot inspired a generation of innovators, scientists, and engineers. It proved we can do almost anything we can dream.
More tangibly, the Apollo program had three major impacts —
— Economically, the program delivered benefits to 6300 inventions in areas like computing, microwaves, and satellites, and led to the creation of new industries such as Intel. Incidentally, the largest share of the federal budget that NASA ever received was four percent. It gets about half a percent today.
— Politically, the success gave us a much-needed boost of confidence at home during a time of the Vietnam war and racial unrest.
— Socially, it brought the world closer together, and coincidentally gave television a big boost. An estimated 530 million people watched those first steps on the moon’s surface.
Of course, there are other sources that go into much greater detail. But this article, at http://onlinelearningtips.com/2014/07/25/the-continued-socioeconomic-impact-of-apollo-11/, gives a good overall summary. (The photo is from the website.)
It’s something to think about as we plot a course for Mars.