Yes, they really were aiming to reach Saturn--by 1970. Wildly optimistic, possibly even crazy? Yeah, in hindsight. But where has that optimism of the G.I. generation gone? You watch the Disney films of the 60s, and it seemed like our high speed, ultrasonic, nuclear powered future was just around the corner, and it was so bright, we were gonna have to wear shades while we flew our car to the grocery store.
We've achieved some of that future now--in some ways more so than those cheery documentarians could have ever dreamed of. But that forward thinking hope--that dreamy certainty that we could do anything we set our minds to--is long gone. Our tools have given us more potential than ever, but our will to exercise it seems to have waned. There are some sectors where that spirit is alive and well, such as Space X, but as a nation, that feeling that we could do anything has disappeared into malaise. How many children today can name a single astronaut?