Originally published through US News and World Report
Today marks 45 years since Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, taking "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Overall, 12 American astronauts have walked on the lunar landscape, the last – Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt – doing so in 1972.
In the intervening years, enthusiasm for space travel has waxed and waned. In 2010, President Barack Obama cut funds for a NASA mission that would have put humans back on the moon by 2020. "I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before," Obama said. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has also thrown cold water on the idea of a return mission to the moon.
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