Today we celebrate 60 years of space flight. On October 4, 1957 the first man-made object, the Sputnik, was launched into orbit. This event caused a staunch competition between the USSR and the USA to put the first man on the Moon. After the Moon landings public interest in manned spaceflight faded away and so did political support.
In 1970s it was widely expected that man would land on Mars in the 1980s. With this idea the first space stations were established, and some, including O’Neil, foresaw the creation of orbital space settlements as well. However, all of these things have yet to happen.
As people have not been on the Moon since 1972, a majority of people has been born after the Apollo program. Hence it is not surprising that too many people are questioning the reality of the Moon landings at all.
Though manned spaceflight, which is still a dangerous business, has scrambled during the last fifty years, unmanned space probes have already reached the outskirts of our Solar System. Without the Voyagers, the Pioneers and their successors we would know virtually nothing of the outer planets.