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Hump Day: Un-Obstructed View

Yeah, it’s one of those times when I really feel a serious need to get off-planet

By The Light of Our Silvery Moon…

The stark truth is we, as American/world space explorers, are not going anywhere, not even Mars, if we do not return to the Moon and build and successfully establish a functioning, relatively self-sustaining, productive colony there. Why? Because “we can”, especially with our modern technology and independent/private investors/innovators. The Moon is a perfect setting for setting up and studying the ideas and possibilities (and probabilities) of building (basically) human terrariums to live and thrive safely/comfortably/evolvingly inside. God knows the ability to harness solar power to run the colony is a given. And it is not only a physical endeavor but a mental and, yes, spiritual experiment.

The Moon is in a reasonable depth of the vast outer space ocean so as not to be too far from an urgent return to Earth, or an assist from Earth to the moon, especially if something like a larger and more advanced space station were build as a gateway to the Moon. for routine traffic. But I reiterate, our Moon is crucial in our ability to develop life sustaining means in order to venture out deeper into the sea of incredible distance and deadly anti-life conditions. Mars is anywhere from nine months to a year (estimated) away from Earth, depending on alignment. Instead of a direct jump from Earth to a Mars mission astronauts could spend important training and adjustment time in pre-mission prep stays on the Moon and launch from there with less fuel needed as the Moon has far less gravity and no atmosphere to fight.

As a child of the Moon missions era I am disappointed 50 years later we have just left it to reflect the Sun in our night sky as we remember when, or some to doubt, we jumped the distance of our safe space and walked its surface … and our American Flag — that signified that we had busted ass, and lost lives, to get there — to fade to white as if we surrendered our ingenuity and spirit to leave the womb of Mother Earth. Our ISS should actually be on the Moon, perhaps built underground or in a massive crater for protection. Until we reach back out to the lone lunar entity above our heads we cannot make a serious, and safer, attempt at reaching for Mars. A fully functioning Moon colony could be a vast network of laboratories developing technology and equipment to improve man’s chances and possibilities in deep space. It would also be a unique and excellent environment for robotics advancement. This is indisputable, as in just our Apollo program we leapt ahead in such new technologies. Just imagine in half a century how far we have come since this…

Charles Fishmen @ Smithsonian Mag: What You Didn’t Know About the Apollo 11 Mission: From JFK’s real motives to the Soviets’ secret plot to land on the Moon at the same time, a new behind-the-scenes view of an unlikely triumph 50 years ago

In 1999, as the century was ending, the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was among a group of people who was asked to name the most significant human achievement of the 20th century. In ranking the events, Schlesinger said, “I put DNA and penicillin and the computer and the microchip in the first ten because they’ve transformed civilization.” But in 500 years, if the United States of America still exists, most of its history will have faded to invisibility. “Pearl Harbor will be as remote as the War of the Roses,” said Schlesinger. “The one thing for which this century will be remembered 500 years from now was: This was the century when we began the exploration of space.” He picked the first Moon landing, Apollo 11, as the most significant event of the 20th century.

The trip from one small planet to its smaller nearby moon might someday seem as routine to us as a commercial flight today from Dallas to New York City. But it is hard to argue with Schlesinger’s larger observation: In the chronicle of humanity, the first missions by people from Earth through space to another planetary body are unlikely ever to be lost to history, to memory, or to storytelling.

The leap to the Moon in the 1960s was an astonishing accomplishment. But why? What made it astonishing? We’ve lost track not just of the details; we’ve lost track of the plot itself. What exactly was the hard part?

[…]

Ten thousand problems had to be solved to get us to the Moon. Every one of those challenges was tackled and mastered between May 1961 and July 1969. The astronauts, the nation, flew to the Moon because hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, managers and factory workers unraveled a series of puzzles, often without knowing whether the puzzle had a good solution.

[…]

But the magic, of course, was the result of an incredible effort—an effort unlike any that had been seen before. Three times as many people worked on Apollo as on the Manhattan Project to create the atomic bomb. In 1961, the year Kennedy formally announced Apollo, NASA spent $1 million on the program for the year. Five years later NASA was spending about $1 million every three hours on Apollo, 24 hours a day.

[…]

The big myth of Apollo is that it was somehow a failure, or at least a disappointment. That’s certainly the conventional wisdom—that while the landings were a triumph, the aimless U.S. space program since then means Apollo itself was also pointless. Where is the Mars landing? Where are the Moon bases, the network of orbital outposts? We haven’t done any of that, and we’re decades from doing it now. That misunderstands Apollo, though. The success is the very age we live in now. The race to the Moon didn’t usher in the space age; it ushered in the digital age….

It is long, but very well worth the read of the whole thing.

Vince Houghton: Why the Air Force Almost Blasted the Moon with an H-Bomb: Call it a Cold War show of force. … Well, thank God calmer heads prevailed.

Bloomberg: Elon Musk’s Satellites Dot the Heavens, Leaving Stargazers Upset … Perhaps Musk’s next big idea should be creating a ship and crew that can salvage and recycle defunct space junk.

TH: Amazon Seeks Permission To Launch 3,236 Internet Satellites. …. And with more space junk ahead.

NPR: Robots, Not Humans, Are The New Space Explorers … Robots don’t eat, drink, breathe, poop, get lonely, and can withstand more radiation and extreme temperatures. Robots will have to follow the massive shipments of building resources, equipment, supplies to Mars, or the Moon, and even start the building of whatever human-worthy colony in order to make it ready for human missions to come after and continue the colonial structuring. And robots do not require a paycheck.

PM: Carl Sagan’s Solar Sail Is Finally Ready To Fly: The Planetary Society is launching LightSail 2 to fulfill a vision rooted in the future. … Again, more future space technology that could probably be better developed on the Moon.

HL: The Health Risks of Space Travel … A lot of them, and the ER is a bit far away.

NS: Astronauts don’t seem to be dying from exposure to space radiation … Because they have been mindful and careful.

MORE:

UPI: Virgin Galactic to become first public spaceflight company

One comment on “Hump Day: Un-Obstructed View

  1. […] touched on some Moon mission history on last Wednesday’s Hump Day post Un-Obstructed View, and in it I linked to The Smithsonian Magazine’s What You Didn’t Know About the Apollo 11 […]

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