The first American satellite was launched less than 4 months after USSR Sputnik. The first American in space was less than 1 month after Gagarin. The US and Soviet Union were essentially deadlocked in a race.US was following USSR in pretty much every space achievement except for *moon landing*.
Meanwhile it’s been decades since the US successfully landed a rover on Mars. There’s no comparison.
Just like USA followed USSR
The US was only months behind the Soviets at the outset of the Space Race, then got thoroughly crushed by Apollo.
The US landed a rover on Mars over 2 decades ago. There’s no comparison between the two.