WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE MANNED SPACE PROGRAM? | 2003-11-01
If you want to know what happened to the manned space program, take a look at science fiction programs that were made when the manned space program got under way. You will see the space adventurers sitting there in their rocket ships talking. Then you will see something amazing.
In a 1950s television show the members of the rocket ship crew would get ready to do something and they would take down their orders. How did they take down those orders? Each one of them pulled out a SLATE to write on! It was a clipboard with notebook pages that you could detach.
America got into the space program to prove it could beat the Soviet Union in space. By the time we had done that, manned missions were out of date.
This does NOT mean that the age of space flight is over. What it does mean is that we do not have to send human beings to Pluto so they can look around and write what they find down on slates. At the risky stage of space exploration you send up machines you have developed that are much better observers than people could ever be.