American on moon

Editor’s note: The following editorial was published in The Messenger on July 21, 1969. One billion dollars in 1969 would be nearly $7 billion today.

Man has landed and walked on the moon. That the “man” was an American is a source of great pride for all of us … and that includes those who feel that those first moon steps by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldren came at too high a price — $12 billion apiece, as one television commentator noted. (The space program’s cost to date has been set at $24 billion.)

All the superlatives denoting excitement, pride and surprise have been used and re-used in the hours following Neil Armstrong’s tentative step onto the “charcoal-like” powdery substance of the moon. They were used by television viewers and the television commentators alike, and then by those in all parts of the globe asked for comment.

Apparently, those best able to control themselves were the astronauts themselves. They did their assigned tasks so easily and so calmly that it was difficult to keep remembering they were setting history. About the only fault one could find is that Aldrin didn’t speak directly into the microphone so that all his words could be heard around the globe — and he quickly corrected that deficiency upon coaching from Houston.

This is indeed a great American achievement and should, as many have noted, provide a psychological lift for our nation.

May we prayerfully hope that if we can conquer the problems that stand in the way of a trip to the moon, we can take greater strides toward conquering war, pestilence and earthly suffering.