On the Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, Nuclear Propels Us Further into Deep Space
In 1969, the United States made history by putting the first human on the Moon. Half a century later, Neil Armstrong’s monumental footprint on the lunar surface is an enduring presence in American and global space policy.
Today, as we celebrate another anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and humanity’s first steps on the Moon, we’re reminded of the people who opened up the path we’re on today, and also encouraged by the tremendous amount of progress that has been made in the last decade.
Throughout history, every culture, from our earliest Paleo and Neolithic ancestors to ancient Aztecs, Polynesians, and Egyptians, has looked to the night sky in wonder. Astrological fixations on constellations and the Moon have inspired religions, culture, art, and scientific theories globally. These fascinations have been a core component of intellectual movements as well, from the fusion of creativity and science that thrived during the Renaissance, to the major accomplishments in physics, mathematics, chemistry, materials science, and other fields that humanity made during the golden era of space exploration.
Right now, we’re at the threshold of many more concurrent leaps forward in technology that will radically expand humanity’s options for exploring and understanding space. For our part, as we develop new technologies for power and propulsion in space, we get to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that the meaningful and practical progress we’re making in our own work will help humanity achieve its dream of visiting and inhabiting other planets. This is technology that the people behind the Apollo 11 landing could only dream of in the golden age of space travel.
It’s an exciting time to be taking on these challenges. The sooner we can get humans to their destination and the more useful things we can send with them, the safer they will be. Nuclear propulsion will give us the speed we need to get humans to their destination quickly, and nuclear power will give them the means to stay longer, live comfortably, and complete more work while they are there. There has never been a better time to invest in making nuclear power and propulsion a practical foundation for humanity’s movements and permanent presence in space.
For the first time in decades, children worldwide are watching monumental leaps forward in space exploration in real-time, as the companies making these leaps are live-streaming their stories. These leaps forward are being made by people who were inspired by the missions of the Mercury and Apollo era and three decades of Space Shuttle launches.
As we celebrate this anniversary of Apollo 11, let’s also celebrate that we live in a time where the momentum it created can still be felt, and that we’re more committed than ever to making space a place where humanity can thrive.