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[i]The belief that Apollo enjoyed enthusiastic support during the 1960s and that somehow NASA has lost its compass thereafter still enjoys broad appeal. This is an important conception, for without the active agreement of political leaders and at least public acquiescence no exploration effort may be sustained for any length of time.
The level of popular support that most people believe the public held for the Kennedy decision to undertake the Moon landings are, therefore, perceived as something that must be gained for the present space exploration agenda to succeed. Repeatedly a chorus of remorse for the lukewarm popular support enjoyed by specific space exploration activities is followed with a heavy sigh and the conclusion, "if only our current efforts had the same level of commitment enjoyed by Apollo, all would be well."
While there may be reasons to accept that Apollo was transcendentally important at some sublime level, assuming a generally rosy public acceptance of it is at best a simplistic and ultimately unsatisfactory conclusion...[/i]
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