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NASA Set To Party Like It's 1969
by Simon Mansfield
Gerroa, Australia (SPX) Jul 16, 2009

File image of an earlier large party on the ISS.

With today's successful launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, NASA and Friends are set to host the largest party ever in space as seven astronauts join the six permanent members of the International Space Station to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969.

This week-long party for 13 men and women from all over the world will be the largest gathering of humans in the one place in outer space. It has occurred completely by chance following weeks of delays for the launch of STS-127.

Many people will ask what 40 years and a trillion dollars has actually bought us in space. The reality is that manned space is funded by governments for mostly political reasons and although domestic industry and job creation is important, the clincher has always been the international aspects - both competition and co-operation.

The policy makers who crafted the ISS program in the early 1990s will look at the next 10 days with absolute conviction that the money has paid for exactly what they wanted.

Harmony in Space can enable Peace on Earth and keep the superpowers at the table, talking rather than fighting. Of course, assured nuclear annihilation continues to play its critical part in maintaining the peace - but we will leave that for the North Koreans to ponder.

The new space age has not yet fully begun and will take a decade or more to break out of the existing mold that defines today's governmental derived space doctrines.

But like the airplane, rocket technology is proliferating across the world with middle-ranking governments and even internet-funded private space programs developing ever more sophisticated rocket technology that in time will break through any remaining attempts by government's to hold a monopoly over access to space.

Just don't expect to be staying at the LEO Hilton at 300 miles up anytime soon unless you can afford the $35 million price tag the Russians are willing to charge.

In the meantime, read through SpaceDaily and our various sites such as and and see first hand that the billions spent on space have delivered a lot more than just pretty pictures. Space is fundamental to our way of life today and the next 40 years will see that linkage become even more important.


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