I am writing this to give some historical context about how the United States got on the moon (and, yes, how the Internet got invented), and the attitudes we had as a country at the time.
In the 1950s, there was a very genuine and justified fear that the world would stop being a free place and descend in to tyranny. While we were able to stop the Nazis and the Imperialistic Japanese from taking over the world, Russia became a empire called the USSR, and started taking over adjacent countries, spreading like a cancer.
In the middle of this “cold war”, the USSR was able to, in 1957, launch the world’s very first orbital satellite, the Sputnik. This launch shocked us in the United States; here was an oppressive dictatorship that was beating us in outer space. They quickly followed up by launching the first animal then the first person in to space ahead of us. We were, at the same time, having a heck of a time getting a rocket to even take off.
We had to, in the name of defending freedom, catch up with the Soviet Union (USSR). This started the space race. We established NASA and started work getting in to space. It took us a few years (and, yes, the tragic death of three astronauts on Apollo 1—this was an era when people were willing to take risks and make sacrifices for the greater good), but we ended up winning the space race by launching the moon mission and bringing the first man to the moon. While this was done for the betterment of humanity, this was also done so we could win the space race and show the world that American values (Freedom, open elections, open markets) were more effective at accomplishing things than controlled economies without freedom.
We put a US flag on the moon to bring this point home.
Oh, the Internet? That was created by a US Government “advanced research” agency which we formed in response to the Sputnik launch.
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