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Activity Kit - U.S. Space Observance
The Space Exploration Day Holiday occurs on the July 20th anniversary of the first manned walk on the Moon. The nine day Apollo 11 Mission, July 16 to 24, from launch date to splashdown, is known as the U.S. Space Observance. These commemorations were first established by Congressional resolutions, and Presidential Proclamations.
At the international level, I propose that the nine day Apollo 11 anniversary be known as the "Apollo 11 Moon Mission Observance". A July 20th Space Exploration Day Holiday would be possible in nations where the Apollo 11 Moonwalk occurred on July 20th.In much of the world, the Moonwalk occurred on July 21st. Kim Peart of Tasmania, Australia, has proposed that the anniversary of the exact time of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk, be celebrated internationally as the First Step Event.
The purpose of the U.S. Space Observance is to:
- Encourage America to do its best in space achievement, And to stress the ways mankind is benefited.
- Encourage increased public interest in the Space Program.
- Commemorate the past achievements of the Space Program, with special emphasis on the anniversary of Apollo 11.
- Establish a Space Exploration Day Holiday on the July 20th anniversary of the first Moonwalk.
Promoting man's return to the Moon, and beyond is an objective of this effort. Space Probes can monitor planetary environments continuously, covering large survey areas. Space Probes can also travel places, such as the surface of Venus, where manned exploration would be impractical. However, there are definite scientific advantages for having astronauts in space.
An astronaut can weigh relative values, reacting intelligently to the unexpected. The space frontier is filled with many mysteries waiting to be unveiled. An astronaut can also provide innovative technical skills in the maintenance of equipment. We need creative individuals directly involved in the space exploration process. The manned exploration of the Moon provided more high quality, and more extensive information than what would have been possible using unmanned space probes alone.
Space Exploration Day Holiday/U.S. Space Observance needs to aim to re-kindle the nation's vision for the future. The drama and excitement of manned spaceflight built popular support for the Space Program in the 1960s.
However, public opinion wasn't influenced enough as to how space science and technology could help create a better life for humanity. So, manned spaceflight beyond Low Earth Orbit went into long term hibernation. Even today, there is a threat that space progress might be cut back, with man's return to the Moon, being kept on hold indefinitely. It is a shame that mankind will have to wait until the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, to see, the current goal accomplished for man's return to the Moon.
The Space Program takes a small percent of national and world economic resources; with the spending being less than what the public spends on recreation, alcohol and tobacco. It compares well to the spending priority given to Toys and sporting goods. Yet World Hunger relief could be accomplished for less than 1% of the cost the world spends on weapons. The space or social progress argument is a false dilemma.
The potential increased public popularity for space can be seen in the phenomenal popularity that has been given to space science fiction epics, such as Star Wars, and Star Trek. The mythology of science fiction could be integrated into the celebration of Space Exploration Day. It is part of having vision for the future.