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A Digression On Brand Value

“I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.- Neil Armstrong

There are some libertarians today who question the entire man-on-the-moon Apollo project of the 1960s.  They ask: what was the scientific ROI from the billions we spent?
However, what gets neglected are the intangible benefits that accrued from the space mission.  Among them, the “brand value” that accrued to the US all across the world.

Speaking for myself, as a young child growing up in socialist India in the 1970s, I was transfixed by the pictures of Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins et al.  To me, America seemed like that a country that was a century (or two) ahead of everyone else.  If it had been possible, I would have swum across the Indian and the Pacific oceans to get here.  It was the space program that sparked my interest in mathematics as well.

And it wasn’t just me alone.

Billions of people all across the globe were blown away by the moon mission.

Check out this profile of Vivek Ranadive, the owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA team.

That’s brand value for you!

 

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