The Dragon capsule is in the process of docking at the International Space Station. Otherwise, the United States can be proud of a manned space program once again. We're back, which is a good thing, but it needs to be better.
An analogy would be developing the fastest, safest automobile known and then having to hitchhike to get across town because there wasn't any money to keep the damned thing running. This is par for government bureaucracy, but now that the private sector is involved, maybe this backwards method of realizing the potential of the best the United States can offer will end, and the unbridled efforts of entrepreneurs will open up another frontier.
For those that don't realize the importance of this event, mark it down in your calender. This is history and the future is looking brighter.
As I've thought about this post, I revisited the past, when the space program was new and the astronauts were venturing into something that the human race never encountered.
If you didn't live during this time, you'll never understand the infatuation and pride we felt. John Kennedy threw down the gauntlet, and the United States proved it could arise to any challenge. We not only put people in space, we put people on the Moon and were allowed to wear this feather of achievement with pride.
After the last shuttle flight, I had a moment where it was as though I was touched by a ghost. The past sacrifices by so many, including the deaths of astronauts, were only memories and the future only held uncertainty. I was appalled by the end and wondered how the United States could fail to insure a place in space without the permission of other countries.
Needless to write, I'm proud of this moment. Maybe we can be blessed by little interference from the government and tremendous contributions by the private sector.