I am 71 and have lived through all the failures and successes of our space programs. I remember watching the Vanguard fireball, the horror of the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia tragedies. I remember watching the heroic efforts to save the astronauts of Apollo 13 and their successful return to Earth. I remember watching in awe Alan Shepard’s launch in Freedom 7 and John Glenn’s launch in Friendship 7; and the flutter in my heart as Apollo 11’s Lunar Module, Eagle, landed on the moon. I will forever remember watching those first steps of Neil Armstrong.

It is hoped that one does learn by failure. Elon Musk and all the employees of SpaceX are to be congratulated for their risk-taking and vision. I want to see our astronauts walk again on the moon and reach Mars before I die.

Frank MaddoxFalls Church