So it is stenciled at Launch Pad 34A where the crew of Apollo One - Grissom, White, Chaffee - died training to meet President Kennedy's goal to reach the Moon and return safely be the end of the decade. Today July 20th, 2011 is the anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin being the first men to set foot on the Moon. Today July 20th, 2011 marks the last time a Shuttle will leave the ISS as Atlantis undocks and prepares to return on Thursday. And unlike NASA in the post Apollo era when they knew the space shuttle was coming, there is no immediate plans for more manned missions to space. By cancelling Constellation and Ares, President Obama has turned NASA into an agency in partial violation of its charter.
(9) The preservation of the United States preeminent position in aeronautics and space through research and technology development related to associated manufacturing processes.
Because once Atlantis lands, the United States will be dependent upon Russia for manned access to the ISS. Once Atlantis lands, the workforce at KSC will stabilize at 1,000 when it used to be 17,000. Without Ares or Constellation in the pipeline, the ripple effect of the shuttle phase out will be permanent in the loss of skilled technicians throughout the aerospace industry that SpaceX or Virgin or DoD launchers will not cover. So the United States position in regards to space will be in serious doubt.
So those words found at Pad 34A should apply to the United States. For we are surrendering that preeminent position to the Peoples Republic of China that wants to reach the Moon and to Russia.