Moonshot: the shame of the lunar landings

As NASA's PR machine gears up to mark the fortieth anniversary of the moon landings, it's time to take an alternative look (also see previous blog: 'Moonwalk this: rockets or rickets?') at this stunning human achievement.

It's my view that the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission is also a moment of unparalleled shame in human history. While man was walking on the moon, back on earth, millions were dying for lack of food, water, basic sanitation and healthcare.

The American lunar programme cost at least $150 billion in today's money.

The cost of reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 is between $40-$60 billion a year (World Bank estimate).

Government is about choices. Landing on the moon was a Cold War vanity project and is the choice the rich world made at the expense of the poor world.

Today, millions are still dying for lack of food, water, basic sanitation and healthcare.

That is the shame of the Apollo missions and our continuing shame today.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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