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Letter: Landing on the moon 50 years ago

Visitors gather on the grounds of the Armstrong

Visitors gather on the grounds of the Armstrong Air and Space Museum as a scale model of NASA's developing Space Launch System is displayed as part of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Credit: AP/John Minchillo

Landing on the moon 50 years ago

We just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the landing of a man on the moon. That was a half-century ago. Where do we go from here with regard to space exploration?

Yes, landing a man on the moon was an accomplishment, and on Long Island we should be especially proud because the lunar module was assembled here [Apollo name lands on LI,” News, July 19]. But after all of the wows and cheers, was it any more of an accomplishment than that of a man walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls or observing the first person to have climbed Mt. Everest? Sure, we developed new technology with wide applications in other aspects of life but did risking human life and financing a two-way trip to the moon accomplish anything other than “Wow, we did it?”

Human exploration of parts unknown is not new. We would not be sitting in the United States of America had it not been for the likes of Christopher Columbus and those who followed him. The difference, however, is that exploring new continents on Earth hundreds of years ago yielded new places for humanity to thrive. Our moon, Mars and probably all of the structures in our solar system are barren entities that cannot support the existence of human or any form of life. So, why invest billions, if not trillions, of dollars and risk sending men and women to and from these uninhabitable worlds?

Yes, we should continue with space exploration. However, there is a better “bang for our buck.” We can invest in and accelerate non-manned exploration. The Hubble Space Telescope has given us amazing pictures of the cosmos. The robotic exploratory devices sent to Mars have given us years of pictures and amazing amounts of data about Mars and our solar system, and we do not have to worry about bringing these devices safely back to Earth. For far less money than sending humans to and from the moon or Mars we can develop and send more advanced robotic devices to Mars and other planets. And only if they find some planet or moon that can accommodate life, should we invest in manned exploration of that area.

Elliot Udell, Huntington

I enjoyed your article highlighting the Apollo 11 anniversary and the achievements of local unnamed men and women who took part in making the moon landing a success. However, you could not but take notice of the photo of the Apollo Park sign and Supervisor Joseph Saladino’s name glaring prominently on it in the background.

Why is this tax-funded, self-promotion required or allowed? Of course, he wants to take some type of credit but there will surely be a cost to remove the supervisor’s name when he turns over the office in the future. Now, to be fair, this is not the only example of this but taxpayers need to know there is a cost associated with this political self-promotion, which is not needed. We would be shocked to find out the cumulative cost of taking down the names of our elected officials from signs and stationery as administrations inevitably turn over.

This is just a small example. We need to be extremely prudent with tax dollars and how our money is spent considering our current state of affairs and unending annual tax increases.

Matt Shackel, Aquebogue

  

A wonderful way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 would be to tie Donald Trump to a rocket and send him into space.

Claudine Scenna, Massapequa

  

I would like to point out a fact regarding Newsday’s coverage of the Apollo 11 anniversary [“LI museum caters to kids,” News, July 21]. There were likely hundreds if not thousands of small companies (many on Long Island) that contributed to the success of all of the Apollo missions. Tempo Instrument Inc. designed and supplied the timers that set off the stages of the Saturn Five rocket.

Without those, the astronauts probably would never have made the journey. Publish some of these successes, please.

Henry J. Pinto Jr., Medford

Editor’s Note: The writer’s father, the late Henry Pinto, was an owner of the former Tempo Instrument Inc.

Wrong position on Garner case

Newsday’s editorial board missed the target by stating “selling loosie cigarettes should not be a death sentence” [“Don’t prolong the Garner case,” Editorial, July 17]. It wasn’t.

Eric Garner of Staten Island made a tragic decision five years ago and it did not involve selling “loosies” but more so his decision to resist arrest. He had no right to physically dispute the arrest. The time to dispute the merits of the arrest is when one goes before a judge.

He was a large man in poor health and he was not cooperating with police, including Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Had he gone peacefully with the police we would not be having this discussion.

Social media has done much harm to law enforcement as it seems to empower many without actually instructing them as to their rights. Once you are placed under arrest, no matter how petty you might feel the charges are, you have no legal right to physically resist.

Please people let’s all learn from this tragedy.

Steve Dato, Bellmore

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired NYPD lieutenant.

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