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The Politics Behind The American Moonshot

Buzz Aldrin on the moon, July 1969.
Buzz Aldrin on the moon, July 1969.

There was some excitement recently when Chinese scientists retrieved a space capsule that had traveled to the moon and back to pick up samples of rock and dust.

A major accomplishment, but it's been more than 48 years now since the last American astronauts did the same thing, in person.

Project Apollo was a big deal in science, but in politics, too. It always had a secondary purpose, to showcase American ingenuity and freedom. Teasel Muir-Harmony, who is the curator of the Apollo collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, makes the case in her book Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo.

The author joins us for an overview of the history.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.