A.P. American Studies
Vece Pd. 1
The Apollo 11 Moon Landing: Was It Worth It?
On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy stood before Congress to deliver a special message on "urgent national needs." He stated to Congress, "This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth." This decision required tremendous expenditure and effort in order to make it a reality by the end of the 1960's. NASA had to overcome a number of major setbacks, including failures and two changes in the Presidency. It took the entire decade, but they pulled it off, and on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC, Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon. People all over the nation cheered and celebrated the success of our country.
The question is, however, if the moon landing was worth all the effort and cost. There are many reasons why the moon landing was a necessary exercise, but there are also many issues that need addressing.
The biggest issue with the space race was the cost. The US space effort cost the U.S. government billions of dollars. NASA spent about $23 billion on manned programs from 1961 through the first lunar landing in July 1969 (NASA.gov). The Mercury space programs cost NASA around $400 million, the Gemini programs cost $1.3 billion, and the Apollo programs cost $21.3 billion. At the time, large-scale government spending and the constraints of the international monetary system resulted in domestic inflation. As the government struggled to slow inflation and stabilize the economy, optimism disintegrated as the dollar lost stability and inflation took a firm hold. Spending upwards of $23 billion...