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Letter: Space-race rivalry, national pride

Children gather in front of the Space Shuttle

Children gather in front of the Space Shuttle Enterprise as it sits atop a NASA shuttle carrier aircraft on the tarmac at Kennedy Airport on the first leg of its journey to the Intrepid Air Space Museum in Manhattan. (April 27, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

I read all of the news coverage of the space shuttle Enterprise's arrival in New York ["Special delivery," News, April 28]. I am sure that many New Yorkers felt a sense of national pride as the shuttle soared along the Hudson River, perched atop a 747.

Despite the fanfare, I felt a measure of melancholy while reading about American astronaut Daniel Burbank's return from the International Space Station in a Russian Soyuz capsule on the same day ["Back on Earth," News, April 28]. I pondered how the nation that landed 12 men on the moon, put Skylab and the Hubble telescope in orbit, and flew a fleet of reusable spacecraft for decades, had been reduced to hitching rides from our old space-race rivals.

Philip C. Battaglia, Kings Park

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