It’s also a moment freighted with symbolism for America and its sense of self. You don’t have to read The Right Stuff to know that the manned space flight programme was a way for the US to assert its confidence and demonstrate its will to do anything required to be number one. In those days it was about beating the Soviets, and so those pressures don’t exist now in the same way. But with the idea of American exceptionalism under review and the US losing its mojo, we should not underestimate the capacity for this moment to be a blow to American morale.
Rarely does the Telegraph come out from behinds its mask of cool objectivity so completely, and revel in a milestone in the British empire's destruction of its mortal enemy, the American System of economics, which FDR used for rescuing the US from the previous British-orchestrated depression, and converting it into the industrial colossus that won WWII and created the relative economic boom we enjoyed for decades afterward.