To quote from the second article:
It’s hard for modern young people to understand what it was like to grow up as a scientifically minded child in the 1960s. It was a special time that has, sadly, passed.
Each week there was a new step toward the stars. And this was not science fiction, this was reality.
Satellites had never existed in all the long history of mankind, but we saw them going up – and functioning – one after another.
As the Gemini program moved forward, we saw men living in space for more and more days at a time; they learned to rendezvous, and they even left their capsule and “walked in space.”
And then we geared-up for a trip to the moon… and succeeded!
Why wouldn’t a young person believe humanity was on its way to the stars? Humanity WAS on its way to the stars!
And on top of that, we had Star Trek. Remember that while Star Trek was clearly fiction, it was easy to see it as just a few steps ahead of us. And Star Trek was all about morality tales. We looked forward not only to an interesting future, but a good one, where we all became better.
And again, this was not at all unreasonable – we were taking clear steps toward it day by day. This was REAL.
And then, it all stopped. Skylab and the shuttle were steps backward, useful mostly for saving face. Humanity stopped progressing and pulled back from the stars. If any of us still need a reason to judge government as unworthy of our time and treasure, here it is.
Since space was closed, we’ve endured boring, washed-out decades, focused on anything but the awe-inspiring, the good, and the heroic.
I strongly believe that those days will return… eventually.