I partly agree. Considering the current financial straights of the Russian
Space Agency, you can not claim that Russia "won," but the US definitely
"lost". What is particularly annoying is that the loss was completely
The Moon race gave the US the technological base and the trained manpower to
establish permanent presence both in Earth orbit and on the Moon before 1980.
Both got squandered when NASA fundings were cut in early 70's.
The Moon race was undertaken at least in part because both US and USSR saw
Moon as a logical place to put ballistic missiles aimed at the other side.
In retrospect it seems silly, considering the expense of placing missiles
there, the travel time from Moon to Earth, and the impossibility of hiding
the launch. Hindsight is wonderful. In "Halfway to Anywhere," G. Harry Stine
says that Kennedy Administration should have concentrated on a
rocketplane (X-15 flew in 1960, after all), and to let USSR waste its
efforts on the Moon. Right. Minor detail - someone in 1960 needed to look
into future and see Soviet Moon rocket (N-1) repeatedly blow up.
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