Going to the Moon and Going to India

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Last weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned space flight to the moon. In endless articles, observers are asking why no attempts have been made to land men on the moon since the Apollo program. In considering this, I think it’s useful to examine the U.S. and other space programs against a prior, comparable period of exploration – the European journey to the Western Hemisphere. The similarities and differences between the two will help us understand the issues behind that question. The Race to India The initial European explorations five centuries ago had similarities to the U.S. and Soviet space programs of the 1960s. First, both were extremely expensive and carefully planned. The two countries most competitive in these explorations, Portugal and Spain, spent a substantial proportion of their national budgets on the expeditions. The Portuguese trained captains and navigators and built ships that could sustain a crew for extended periods of time and survive dangerous conditions. They carried out a systematic program of exploration, with each voyage pushing farther south along the African coast in search of a passage to India. Meanwhile, Christopher Columbus had approached several countries, including France and England, soliciting […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.



His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.