On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 reached the moon. 47 years ago, man took his first steps there. Today we’re reminded of how fast technology can develop in the right environment and the distance that invention can take us when inventors, investors, big and small companies, governments, universities and communities work together.
“The Apollo space program created a $25 billion (more than $150B in today’s dollars!) innovation economy and put a man on the moon in less than a decade — thanks to the cooperation of government and industry, the individual and the team.”
To give this accomplishment more context, travel back with us seven years before 1969 to 1962, when President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at Rice University in Houston, TX.
His main focus was to persuade Americans to support NASA's mission in the space race. At the time of his speech, no one had ever completed a spacewalk, the U.S. had only first put a man in space the previous year, and we hadn't yet fired a rocket capable of sending a mission to the moon.
Needless to say, we had a long way to go in order to reach this distant and little-known frontier. And that's where the importance of the inventive spirit kicked in. Look where it led us: