Most of the world has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the greatest achievement in human history. Two men from the planet Earth set foot on the moon, and explored it, raising the American flag near their lunar lander. However, the New York Times had a different take on the event.
The Gray Lady wanted to remind us that the Soviets launched the first woman, the first black, and the first Asian into space you know. America may have beaten the Soviets in the race to the moon and thus ultimately won the Cold War, but the Soviet space program was diverse.
The New York Post was very caustic in its response:
“Sure, Communists tortured and executed dissidents, starved their own people by the millions and operated gulags — but have you heard about their amazing space feminism and space intersectionality?”
The Times article was written by a reporter named Sophie Pinkham. The Post compared it to something that might have been published by Pravda during the bad old days of the Cold War.
“Someone should alert Pinkham to the news that the Soviet system collapsed, and the Marxist tyranny lost the Cold War, its pretend-diversity notwithstanding. People of the “humblest origins” making it ‘all the way up’ were just a show for the West. That old American leftists like Bernie Sanders fell for it then is sad. That hip young columnists for The New York Times continue to fall for it now is downright scary.
“Fact is, the Soviets promoted minorities to burnish their international image and checkboxes — exactly the kind of fake representation modern liberals claim to disdain.”
The first black man the Soviets launched into space was Cuban. The first Asian man was from Vietnam. They were allowed on space missions as a means by the Soviets to solidify its grip on other communist nations,
The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova, not a scientist or a test pilot but a factory worker. She did little on her mission but occupy her spacecraft and then live off of the event for the rest of her life. Subsequent flights of female cosmonauts were also one-off events.
Starting in the 1970s, NASA recruited several female and African American astronauts. They were scientists such as Sally Ride and test pilots and engineers such as Guy Bluford. NASA was aware of the political need for diversity in its astronaut corps, but every astronaut it recruited and flew were qualified engineers, scientists, or pilots. Female and minority astronauts contributed greatly to the art of space flight, pushing the envelope of knowledge. They had and have that quality that the writer Tom Wolf called “the right stuff.”
NASA’s astronaut corps continues to have those qualities of both diversity and talent. America is planning to return to the moon by 2024, finally restarting a program of deep space exploration that will see, in the fullness of time, a permanent lunar base and an American flag on Mars.
It is called Project Artemis, after the twin sister of Apollo. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has pledged that of the first crew of two, one will be a woman.
He says, “The first woman and the next man.” He has hinted that the female astronaut to be selected has already flown missions on the International Space Station. 12 woman astronauts have had that honor.
The day that America returns to the moon will be almost as glorious as the day Armstrong and Aldrin set foot on the lunar surface the first time. The first woman to plant her boot on the lunar soil will be as famous as Amelia Earhart or Sally Ride.
She will forevermore be a role model for girls and women to enter STEM fields, nurturing and using their talents to add to the knowledge, wealth, and strength of human civilization.
Not only the first women but the first African American, the first Hispanic and first Asian will fly to the moon on an American rocket.
So will the first European, the first Arab, the first Israeli, and so on. President Trump’s lunar exploration program will see America taking the whole world to the moon, Mars and beyond.
Because the Russian space program is beset by lack of money and quality control issues, the first Russian on the moon will fly on an American rocket. The New York Times ought to consider that as they stumble over itself to trash Apollo 11.