…that Jim Oberg stopped by to correct Reilly’s, ah, misunderstanding of the history of the Space Race – a misunderstanding not shared by THAT WOMAN, much to Reilly’s eventual (but undoubtedly never publicized) chagrin. If you don’t particularly feel like clicking through: the Russians’ launch of Sputnik (and their later firsts in manned space flight*) were indeed scored as wins; those wins did fuel Apollo**; and Apollo had later repercussions on Soviet space policy, which contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union as a whole. As Oberg noted, this is a complicated subject (I’m not an expert in it myself; Jim Oberg definitely is, particularly when it comes to the Russian space program); so it’s probably not Reilly’s fault that he’s less checked out on it than Sarah Palin is…
*It’s amazing what you can do when you only have to report your successful manned launches and your unsuccessful ones are never, ever spoken of. Please note: I am saying nothing bad about Russian cosmonauts here. It takes guts to strap yourself to a tower of explosives that you know is a man-killer. But their rulers sacrificed better men than themselves.
Well, you know. Commies. They do that. Usually on a mass scale.
**Speaking politically, Apollo was a triumph. As a rational policy for the investigation, exploration, and exploitation of space it was a failure. Also: remember when we had a manned space program? Cherish that memory, because you aren’t going to get any more than memory while we have the current crew of Luddites in the White House. They’d rather spend the money on public sector union pensions.