America never stopped being great. And amazing things are about to happen.
I was watching some re-runs of Mannix on YouTube last night, and stumbled across some NASA videos of the OSIRIS-REx mission. In two days, this probe, which was launched in 2016, will make a brief touchdown on a near-earth asteroid 101955 Bennu, grab a sample of sand and gravel, and then return this sample to Earth in 2023. What is amazing about this mission to me is the incredible complexity of the mission, as the spacecraft has had to maneuver around Bennu many times and has created a high-resolution map of the Asteroid. Even if the mission fails in the next few days to collect a sample, it already has accomplished amazing things.
But to hear some folks tell it, America and American technology is in decline. We can't accomplish amazing things anymore, like the moon landing. Back in the 1960's, as kids, we followed every rocket launch with great interest - and such things were reported nightly in the news. As kids, we could tell you all the specifications of the Saturn V booster, having built intricately detailed models of all the rockets of the era.
Today? Well, until yesterday, I wasn't aware the OSIRIS-REx mission existed. Someone in the PR department at NASA needs to get on the ball. Or maybe people in America need to take more of an interest as to what is going on.
We are so obsessed with the trivial these days - politics and Presidents, or what kind of new Smart Phone we will buy next. These things will come and go, but as history is written, they may be little more than footnotes, compared to really important events and discoveries.
Some say America has lost its way. I disagree. We've just lost our focus - temporarily.