Charlotte Talks: Fifty Years After Apollo 11's 'One Giant Leap,' What Is The Moon Landing's Legacy?

Jul 18, 2019

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Credit NASA

NASA's former chief historian Roger Launius looks back at the legacy of the Apollo program that put men on the moon 50 years ago this week.

The world looked skyward as America launched Apollo 11 on the first manned mission to the moon.

Neil Armstrong's "one small step" was a pivotal moment for the country and the world, creating advancements for science and technology, even though science was secondary to just getting to the moon.

But despite the awe and admiration with which we'll view the anniversary, NASA's former chief historian Roger Launius points out the moon program was a polarizing one at the time. Some deried it as a "moondoggle."

Why exactly did we "chose to go to the moon," as President Kennedy declared? What did we learn by going there? What can the Apollo missions teach us about our future space exploration hopes?

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Dr. Roger Launius, former chief historian, NASA; former associate director at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum; author of "Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings" (@Launiusr)