1964-11-28 - Editorial: Space Race Lost
Summary: In the wake of the disaster with Gemini 2, the Daily Bugle sounds off.
Related: Starfall
Theme Song: None


As news of Grissom and Young's dramatic rescue from orbital attack sweeps from Florida to Washington, Congress faces questions about how it will address the elephant in the room: our inadequate space program.

The answer thus far: terribly.

For a decade, taxpayers have been underwriting the bold vision of humanity reaching a new frontier in space. A new agency — NASA — gained our best and brightest scientists and engineers to open up a new frontier. In the process, it established a new benchmark for scientific and technological innovation, which has produced innovative substances like plastics and revolutionized our society in many ways, great and small.

Americans rested upon our laurels in the Space Race while another power kept its head low and developed craft far and away beyond our capabilities, as we took no notice. The fruits of our laziness and our complacency now shower down around our ears.

The cost goes beyond the Gemini program. Factor in two brave men returning from space.

Now, the 2,600 souls on the USS Intrepid, which nearly sank if not for a timely intervention. Her armour does not protect her against balls of energy flung from the sky.

Now, the 192 million Americans facing a new threat as we lose our dominance of the skies.

While we battle in the South China Sea, the USSR has lapped this country and ascended to untold heights. Will the banner of communism fly over the stars? Our leaders' silence is complicit in the national failure to take the lead in a race we cannot lose, knowing as we do there are greater threats out there.

Red sky at morning,
Yankees take warning.

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