Re: " ... land a woman and person of color ... "
> No axe to grind, I just think NASA should just be selecting the best for the job.
For sure. But what's 'the job' in question? If a modern mission requires the superb piloting and engineering skills of Neil Armstrong, then something has gone seriously wrong with that mission.
The selection pool today is no longer limited to former military test pilots.
The actual job spec for what folk will do on the moon is a bit hazy, too. If it's all a flag waving exercise, then yeah, symbolism is a part of the job spec.
After all, Neil Armstrong was *merely* the best *American* for the job. Dai Jones the Rocket was an even better candidate, but didn't get the gig because he was Welsh and was a trade unionist to boot. Nifty geologist he was though.
Symbology is a big chunk of the job.
The US only out a man in moon because of its economic power. Symbols.