Editorial: Counting the cost of America’s fickle fascination with space travel

The popularity of every Star Wars and Star Trek spin-off imaginable on TV streaming services shows how much Americans remain intrigued by the possibility “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” But 53 years after Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, our excitement waxes and wanes with the ups and downs of real-world space exploration orchestrated by NASA. Consider a spate of recent news stories, which have alternately grabbed brief snatches of our attention or been mostly greeted by yawns.