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reply to post by eriktheawful
Basically, the only way that we'll get out there again and also in a colony way, is for either our economic system to change, or for the government to change. It could even be a National Pride thing all over again like it was for the moon race back in the 60's. If China and/or Russia get manned missions back on the moon again, it might spur the US government on (or not...hard to tell these days).
quote The North American X-15 rocket-powered aircraft/spaceplane was part of the X-series of experimental aircraft, initiated with the Bell X-1, that were made for the USAAF/USAF, NACA/NASA, and the USN. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the early 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. As of 2012, it holds the official world record for the fastest speed ever reached by a manned rocket-powered aircraft. During the X-15 program, 13 different flights by eight pilots met the USAF spaceflight criteria by exceeding the altitude of 50 miles (80 km) thus qualifying the pilots for astronaut status. The USAF pilots qualified for USAF astronaut wings, while the civilian pilots were awarded NASA astronaut wings in 2005, 35 years after the last X-15 flight. quote
The most important development in terms of delivery in the 1950s was the introduction of intercontinental ballistic missiles, ICBMs. Missiles had long been regarded the ideal platform for nuclear weapons, and were potentially a more effective delivery system than strategic bombers, which was the primary delivery method at the beginning of the Cold War. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union showed the world that they had missiles able to reach any part of the world when they launched the Sputnik satellite into Earth orbit. The United States launched their own satellite on the 31 October 1959. The Space Race showcased technology critical to the delivery of nuclear weapons, the ICBM boosters, while maintaining the appearance of being for science and exploration.