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Mir Was Sour Grapes, Part 2 ('Beta')

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on November 23, 2001 08:06:16 UTC

Paul,

I disagree with much of what you have said regarding this matter.

(1) In 1969, when we landed on the moon, no one was planning on building a space station. For both nations, it was all about getting to the moon.

(2) I think the U.S. was the tortoise in this analogy. As Alex pointed out, the Soviet Space Program leapt ahead of us from the start, and seemed to be the odds-on favorite to get there first. We were clearly underdogs in "the big race."

(3) Prior to July 1969, space stations were regarded as a huge step, obviously, but never as any sort of first step. Indeed, a thorough review will show that all agencies involved saw the moon as the "big cheese" (rim shot). In July 1969 the Soviets suddenly became space station "enthusiasts."

(4) If anything should have been called "Alpha," it was the Salyut 1, the Soviet Space Station designed immediately after the Apollo 11 success, and launched in 1971 (predated Mir by fifteen years).

-LH

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