Friday, July 20, 2018

Proof that having a working time machine could be lucrative indeed. Personally I would rather go forward to witness the next moon landing (see below) than to rewatch the first.

Everybody is remembering the first moonwalk today. But what about the next one? 

Sometime in the Future…
The wall-to-wall big-screen TV has been displaying talking heads on one half of the screen and an image of the Artemis lunar lander on the other half for the past hour  It is the first crewed spacecraft to set down on the lunar surface in 50 years. The old man watching the TV reflects that despite the passage of decades and the advance of technology, the need to fill air time during the high points of the flight of Orion 3 has not changed since the age of over-the-air broadcasting and analog televisions. The cable news network on which he has watched most of the mission has had a procession of celebrity scientists, former astronauts, politicians, and media pundits to discuss every aspect of the first flight to the Moon in decades.
The media is vastly different than it was when men first walked on the Moon 53 years before. Then only three major networks existed. Now, most televisions can access a broad range of news and science-oriented channels that can cover the return to the Moon from their own unique perspectives. That does not include the various ways that the Internet and social media cover the events.
With that in mind, the old man picks up his tablet and checks his social media feeds. The NASA and the Artemis Twitter accounts are abuzz, creating a minute-by-minute account of what is happening both on Earth and on the Moon. The old man adds his impressions of the event to his own channels and then adds a picture of his living room, filled with friends and family members. Three generations, only a handful of whom had seen men walk on the Moon in the 1960s and 70s, are munching snacks, playing with their own electronics, or just watching raptly what is happening on the Moon hundreds of thousands of miles away.
The crewed lander has been preceded by a cargo ship that containing a rover, an inflatable habitat, and supplies weeks ago. The camera on the cargo lander is what shows the Artemis standing on the lunar surface. It tracks the lunar lander as it descends to the landing site on a tail of fire, on the north rim of the Shackleton Crater. That is something they never got to see 50-plus years ago.
Suddenly, the moderator on the news channel stops the banter with her guests and says, “We just got word that the EVA is about to begin. The mission commander is already in her moon suit and has entered the Artemis airlock.”
The old man notices that some of the younger people are already putting on their VR googles. They will get a full 3D view of the first person to walk on the Moon in decades. The old man, however, is just old-fashioned enough to want to watch it on the flat screen.
The airlock door slides open, and a pair of space suited legs appears. The old man thinks it amusing that the commander of the Orion 3 is a female Air Force officer. Fifty years ago, female astronauts at NASA were nine years in the future, and Sally Ride’s first flight was 14 years in the future. The commander of Orion 3 is fully qualified, having spent two tours on the International Space Station. But the old man thinks that her selection was a conscious decision by NASA to boast of how diverse the space agency is, these days.
The space suit she wears is modern as well, a form-fitting costume that uses “active materials” to keep up the pressure on her body to compensate for the lack thereof on the lunar surface. She moves as gracefully as a gymnast, clambering down the ladder of the Artemis in easy steps. The old man smiles, remembering the bulky moon suits that the Apollo astronauts wore, making their movements awkward.
She stands at the bottom of the ladder and talks to Mission Control about the state of the Artemis on the lunar surface.
Then comes the great moment.!
“I’m going to step down now.”
She steps off lightly and plants both boots on the lunar surface.
“We have returned to the Moon in the spirit of peace and scientific exploration,” the commander of the Artemis says, “and that was a heck of a leap for a girl.”
As likely happens at hundreds of thousands of venues, from living rooms like this to a crowded Times Square, everyone present breaks out in spontaneous applause.
The old man has a tear on his cheek. One of the kids notices this. “Was it like this the first time, Grandpa?”
The old man smiles down at her. “This time’s better.  Because this time, we’re going to stay.”


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As we saw the first moonwalk 49 years ago.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is rapidly becoming my second favorite socialist.
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Monday, July 16, 2018

Trump and Putin and the fear-mongering MSM
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Everyone who was of age on July 20, 1969, remembers where they were when men landed on the Moon. I was on a family vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida on that day. My family, along with another family with whom we had been friendly for years, crowded into a single beach-side motel room with one of the only working TVs to watch the first moonwalk.
The TV was ancient even for that era, a tiny black and white that could only get one channel. The quality of television transmission would have been considered laughable by modern standards. But, as anyone who has seen that wonderful Australian movie The Dish knows, the technological achievement of getting television pictures from the surface of the Moon to TV screens on Earth was as impressive, in its own way, as getting men there and back.
The images that traveled from the Moon to millions of television sets on Earth were in black and white and fuzzy to boot. But the reason they were more beautiful than any special effects-laden science fiction movie was that they were real. This was not some cinematographer’s conception of what a voyage to the Moon would be like. It was a voyage to the Moon.
Neil Armstrong was a blindingly white figure on the television screen as he descended down the ladder from the lunar module hatch to the ground. He lingered on the bottom of the ladder for tantalizing minutes as he observed the condition of the LM’s landing pads. Then, the moment arrived when he said, “I’m going to step off the LM now.”
A billion people on a planet that contained only a little more than three billion people held their collective breaths.
“That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”
History is often bifurcated by singular events that change everything. So it was with the first Apollo moon landing. Before, the moon was terra incognita, a bright disk in the sky filled with mystery and wonder. After, it was a place where men had walked and explored, bringing back rocks and soil for generations of scientists to study, as valuable in their own way as the gold which the Spanish conquistadors had sought.
The rest of the two-hour excursion passed as if were a dream. Buzz Aldrin soon joined Armstrong on the lunar surface. They unveiled a plaque that commemorated the event. “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Later, they erected the American flag to note the fact that those men were Americans, their mission supported and paid for by the United States. In the middle of their collecting rocks and setting up experiments, Armstrong and Aldrin took a call from President Richard Nixon.
Then, in the fullness of time, the two men took their geology treasure back into the lunar module and blasted off for a rendezvous and docking with the Apollo command module then in lunar orbit.
The Apollo Moon landing was so successful and, dare I say, so cool, that we did it five more times with missions of increasing scope and sophistication. As a bonus, the world looked on with anxiousness as the crew of Apollo 13 fought to come home after an explosion in the service module. The epic voyage became one of the greatest movies about space travel in history, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks.
Then, after the last Apollo moon mission departed the lunar surface in December 1972, we stopped.
Why the United States stopped going to the Moon, even with the spacecraft already built for three more missions, is something of a mystery for those who came of age after the end of the First Age of Lunar Exploration. Logically, the United States should have built on the knowledge and experience it had won during the Apollo missions to the Moon to continue to conduct lunar expeditions, building up to a permanent lunar base.
Why the United States turned away from the Moon, just when it had achieved it, is part of the subject of this small book. I will also try to explain why two attempts to revive a lunar program crashed on the rocks of politics. I will also try to lay out a political strategy for making a third attempt to return to the Moon, this time successfully.
Most people can recite from memory the first words spoken on the moon. But few people remember the last words, at least officially, said by Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan.
"I'm on the surface; and, as I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come - but we believe not too long into the future - I'd like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return: with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."
The second-to-last sentence contains a promise that has yet to be fulfilled. That fact is a blot on our civilization that will only be wiped out when the next moonboots hit the ground on the other side of the airless sea.





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Apollo 11 Launch (Original NASA Video)





49 years ago...
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Friday, July 13, 2018

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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Sarah Palin reveals she was TRICKED by Sasha Baron Cohen when he pretended to be a wounded veteran to interview her for his new Showtime series Who Is America?

When the next moonwalk happens...

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Monday, July 09, 2018

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Thursday, July 05, 2018

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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

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