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Yesteryear's tomorrows

By the late 1940s, a grand plan for conquering space was already on paper. Why it didn't transpire as planned offers food for thought today.
It was all decided. First we orbit a space station, then we use it as a staging point to go to the Moon. Preparing the Mars expedition would take a little longer - five to ten years more, perhaps. Beyond lay the distant stars, targets suitable for decades or centuries hence. Once our technology got just a little better, they too would come within reach. Long before American astronaut Neil Armstrong set the first human foot on the Moon in July 1969, space-flight visionaries had worked out all the...

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