In 1960 I saw a vision of the ideal future from space. Three years earlier the Soviet Union had succeeded in launching Sputnik, the first manmade satellite in history, into orbit. This came as a huge shock to the United States. In response, America threw everything it had into its own manned space flight project, the Mercury project. Even as the Soviets seemed poised to send their first man into space America was still experimenting with chimpanzees in rockets. The government wanted human data. So they secretly decided to send a human being into space. I was the one they chose. At the time they didn't have the technology to block out cosmic rays and whoever they sent up would inevitably be exposed to heavy radiation. That's why they chose me. After all, I had already been irradiated once. Of course, you won't find any of this in the history books. I could see the planet as it appeared form space. That's when it finally hit me. Space exploration is nothing but another game in the power struggle between the US and USSR. Politics, economics, the arms race - they're all just arenas for meaningless competition. I'm sure you can see that. But the Earth itself has no boundaries. No East, No West, No Cold War. And the irony of it is, the United States and the Soviet Union are spending billions on their space programs and the missile race only to arrive at the same conclusion. In the 21st century everyone will be able to see that we are all just inhabitants of a little celestial body called Earth. A world without communism and capitalism... that is the world I wanted to see. But reality continued to betray me.
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