Space: The Next Giant Leap for Mankind

Two decades after its first moon landing, it is time for the U.S. to head for Mars

Three-quarters of a billion people peered at the murky images on their television screens on July 20, 1969, as Neil Armstrong became the first human to stand on another world. To Americans, the spirit-lifting achievement was well worth the cost and effort. The quest to reach the moon had revitalized U.S. science and technology and yielded countless benefits to industry and the military. Most amazing of all, the Eagle landed only eight years after John F. Kennedy proclaimed the moonshot a national priority.

But after Apollo, something went wrong with the nation's space program. Despite successes -- such as the Skylab...

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