Back in the day, this was the hottest topic of discussion: who can get to the Moon first? The Americans were engaged in a time-restricted race with the Soviets. On September 13, 1939, the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 unmanned rocket made a hard landing on the surface of the moon-i.e., crashed into the moon. The Americans mirrored this in 1962 with their Ranger 4 rocket but ultimately took the cake on July 20, 1969, with the Apollo 11 mission successfully getting two astronauts to the surface of the Earth’s only natural satellite. This “Golden Age” of space exploration eventually died down and although there were plenty of missions after that, none had the social resonance of the first ones. America had won, the Soviets were defeated and everybody could go to sleep all relaxed knowing that the world was in order. Space exploration continued after that with a few highlights sprinkled across the decades but nothing could reach the hype of those early years. Our dreams of living in a super…
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