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40 Years ago today July 20, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Uncategorized.
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And in honor, hulu.com has an Apollo collection up.

I remember it well. I was five years old but I remember seeing Aldrin’s ascent from the LEM and even then I knew it was a momentous occasion. I knew we had the engineering might, the technology might, and the gumption to launch men to other celestial bodies.

The last Apollo flight to the moon was Apollo 17 in 1972, then Apollo/Soyuz in 1975. By this point I was 11 years old and very pissed that they canceled the main interplanetary manned program. By 1980 at least we should have been able to reach Mars. And by now, we’d be toward the outer part of our Solar System.

But no, NASA wanted a reusable craft. Enter the Space Shuttle. 1981 was the year that Columbia made its maiden flight to earth orbit. I remember they broadcast it over the school PA system when the shuttle came back in for a landing.

They promised the shuttle would be faster/cheaper/better but what is the shuttle but a low earth orbit craft, and even that requires two massive solid rocket boosters, as well as a gigantic fuel tank strapped to its belly. It isn’t faster, and certainly not cheaper nor was it better than Apollo.

I’m happy to see that we may be returning to the moon. And I definitely want to see us exploring Mars in the not so distant future.

I also want to see more done with advanced propulsion. They’ve pretty much worked out the theoretical basis of warp drive. Lets work on energy sources next.

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