The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


August 30, 2012

Our View: Space, Joplin and Armstrong

How many folks remember July 21, 1969, the day the first man, Neil Armstrong, set foot on the moon?

We suspect many of our readers may have been part of the 500 million people worldwide who watched that event live on TV.

Yet, today, it almost seems like ancient history.

For those 60 and older, go back 12 more years and consider Sputnik, space and the Cold War. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space and Americans became concerned about national security. The country worried about the ability of the Soviet Union to outpace the development of American space technology and how that might affect our ability to defend our country against a nuclear threat.

A united America soon responded, and the race to the moon was launched. Neil Armstrong, a former naval aviator, joined the early corps of astronauts in 1962 and seven years later he walked on the moon.

The national effort to allow Armstrong to achieve such a remarkable event was the result of superb political leadership; the marshaling of technical resources all over our country; a large amount of pure genius, courage and endurance at the individual level; and yes, unfettered participation by corporations all over America.

Could Armstrong have walked on the moon without EaglePicher, our own Joplin company? Who knows for sure today, but batteries that provided vital electric power to the systems used on Apollo 11 were critical to that mission’s success. Today, far-flung unmanned space exploration still depends, in part, on batteries designed and manufactured right here in Joplin, 43 years later.

Neil Armstrong, who died on Saturday, will be remembered by history as the first man on the moon. But standing close behind Armstrong was a visionary — President John Kennedy — as well as the thousands of companies and their employees all working together to produce a revolution in technology and inspiration for our collective human spirit.

Thank you, President Kennedy, EaglePicher and Neil Armstrong for leading the way for America and the world at large.

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  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

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