Just a bit more than 50 years ago, John Glenn soared into space on a trip that would take him around the Earth three times. His mission was one of the U.S. space program's great early successes.
And it inspired Americans by the tens of millions. The final frontier would be conquered - and we would do it.
Things have changed. Major cutbacks have been made at NASA. Manned space exploration is virtually off the table. We have ceded the skies to others.
That could cost us more than we as a nation can afford in many ways.
Glenn, now 90, was among those who had "the right stuff" half a century ago. Now, it seems, we are admitting Americans no longer have that quality.