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40-TH ANNIVERSARY OF MAN’S WALK ON THE MOON

Everyone knows the phrase “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That’s what astronaut Neil Armstrong said 40 years ago today – during his first walk on the moon.

After the Apollo space program had been discontinued there has been a long break in the American lunar exploration program. The next step is planned for about 2020: by that time NASA hopes to land up to three large habitats on a few unmanned flights to build a beachhead on the moon and deliver new crew of astronauts there to assemble them.

As is well known, the USSR also had a manned flight to Moon in its plans but was unable to bear all technological and financial burdens of such program. And last year Wang Zhaoyao, spokesman for China's manned space program, said, "We believe it is necessary for China to do (a manned lunar mission)."

A new competition for NASA or just an empty threat? Only time will tell…

© Valery Milgrom, 1997 - 2012

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