- Public opinion in favor of continuing human lunar exploration almost never rose above 50 percent during NASA's Apollo program – but the lone exception was in October 1965. Americans often ranked spaceflight near the top of programs to be cut in the federal budget during the 1960s buildup toward the first moon landing.
- In the Gallup poll conducted last Tuesday and Wednesday nights, only 50% of the public correctly named Armstrong as the first person to walk on the moon. The second most prevalent guess was John Glenn, named by 13%, followed by Alan Shepard (who was the first man into space), and Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man on the moon. About 3% named someone else, while 28% couldn't come up with any name at all.
- These statistics do not demonstrate an unqualiﬁed support for NASA’s effort to reach the Moon in the1960s. They suggest, instead, that the political crisis that brought public support to the initial lunar landing decision was ﬂeeting and within a short period the coalition that announced it had to re-consider their decision. It also suggests that the public was never enthusiastic about human lunar exploration, and especially about the costs associated with it. What enthusiasm it may have enjoyed waned over time, until by the end of the Apollo program in December 1972 one has the image of the program as something akin to a limping marathoner straining with every muscle to reach the ﬁnish line before collapsing.
I'm sick and in a dour mood, but I will leave you with something to cheer.