Even after decades of space exploration, these feats continue to inspire and astound. They show the power of human effort and ingenuity, and they bring invaluable new knowledge of our beautiful and mysterious universe.
But the merit of Artemis I isn’t purely scientific. For Floridians — and for all Americans — it’s also cause for patriotism and pride. Our journeys through the stars are a great chapter in the story of our nation. That those journeys have not come to an end, but are rather just getting started, demonstrates America’s continued greatness.
To them I say, look at history and think about the alternatives to a United States active in space exploration. So long as people are subject to fallen human nature — so long as power-hungry dictators seek to extort, conquer and dominate their neighbors — we should be unwilling to relinquish American greatness and discovery.
Because, like it or not, America is special. In the some 5,500 years of recorded human history, the existence of a nation committed to the equality of human dignity, the rule of law and the achievement of “liberty and justice for all” is very rare. That such a nation is also great, able to send rockets through the solar system and land astronauts on the moon, should be a cause for celebration. We cannot forget that the moment the US falls from power — the moment the CCP achieves global hegemony — is the moment totalitarianism and imperialism retake center stage in international politics.
Our contest with Beijing extends beyond Earth, and it’s not just a matter of appearances and prestige. Mineral extraction, satellite communication and advanced weapon deployment are geostrategic assets of the future whose acquisition depends on control of space, and the CCP has its sights set on all of them.
But simply strengthening the Space Force will not be enough — we must also maintain our scientific and technological edge.