Just over 40 years ago, we put human beings on the moon—a dozen altogether; 27 if you also include those who orbited the moon without landing on it. When we started that program, we didn’t even know if human beings could actually survive in zero g for any length of time; we didn’t know if it was possible to dock vehicles travelling at orbital speed, and on and on—and we had to figure it all out with technology that appears stone age by today’s standards (e.g. slide rules!)
When I think of the astronauts and engineers who pulled all this off, I think of them as a pretty conservative bunch—notwithstanding that the two NASA centers most closely associated with manned spaceflight are named after Democratic presidents. But the people who actually made the program go—the military guys in the astronaut corps and the buttoned-down engineers in mission control—lefty professor types don’t exactly come to mind.
Listening to the cowardice and abject stupidity contained in the hysteria coming from today’s conservatives about AG Holder’s decision to try the 9/11 plotters in NYC, I have to wonder what happened to that “Right Stuff” conservatism.