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“US space program is dead-end”

Published time: July 27, 2011 07:59
Edited time: August 01, 2011 17:50

Space Shuttle Endeavour liftoff

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Bill Anders, a retired NASA astronaut who was part of the first US mission to the Moon and took a celebrated photograph of a rising Earth told RT the picture started the environmental movement and explained why the Americans flew to the moon.

­At the Starmus Festival in Tenerife, Spain, Anders told RT he was proud to have been lucky enough to take the picture that defined the start of the environmental movement.

“It has influenced a lot of people. That picture, along with the Hubble telescope, helped people start thinking in more expansive ways and understand we were not the center of the universe.”

Anders admitted that flying to the moon and taking the picture did not feel as an accomplishment for all humanity to him.

“I felt we were there to prove not just to ourselves and the American people, but to the whole world we were not second-best. Certainly the Soviets, now the Russians, with Sputnik and Gagarin made America look really bad,” he said.

However, according to Anders, the US space program now is just a waste of money.

“I think our space program has been on the wrong track ever since the space shuttle. It is a dead-end program. Our prior competitors must me laughing up their sleeves that Americans who got to the moon first now have to ride on Russian rockets. The space shuttle cost ten times [what] it should have. It is too bad we went down that path,” he stated.

The Apollo program was not an exploration program for America, as Anders told RT.

“It was a political program to demonstrate the US we are not second-best. Our job was put the US on the moon; they were paying for that to beat Russians,”
he concluded.