Fifty years and one day after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped foot on the Moon, the U.S. space community will note a more somber milestone—the eighth anniversary of the final space shuttle mission, which kicked off a suspension, still ongoing, in the country’s ability to launch astronauts into orbit. With financial and technical support from NASA, Boeing and SpaceX are working to bring commercial U.S. space taxis into service and end the gap. But consider this: The time ...

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