Truth is, we have done nothing to equal (much less top) the accomplishments of Apollo. And even worse, we haven’t tried. We did something truly great, but then walked away from it. We had lightning in a bottle — and we opened the lid.
Our country has been pulling the rug out from under NASA ever since Apollo. Really, the agency is running on fumes from rocket fuel that was purchased (on a credit card no doubt) in 1961.
Why did we allow it to slip through our fingers? Sometimes I get the feeling we are the only nation that just doesn’t get it, because we are either cocky or stupid or distracted — or all of the above.
Was it the lack of money?
Was it the shuttle?
Was it boredom with the Moon and the Expense of Mars?
Was it a change in American culture?
What is your opinion what did we lose? What changed? What do we need to regain? Or do you feel we have been making steady progress for the last 50 years?
Apollo was not about the Moon, or even about space. It took place in space and ultimately, on the Moon. But Apollo was a battle in the Cold War. John Kennedy did not say, “Go to the Moon and press onwards to the planets.” He challenged America to show the superiority of its economic and political system by landing a man on the Moon and returning him to Earth “before this decade is out.” The key objective was not going to the Moon – it was to beat the Soviets to the Moon. This objective was attained with profound consequences, critical to our Cold War victory to a degree still not fully appreciated.
While DR. Spudis explains why we haven’t had the level of funding and excitement for the space program as there was during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. It does’t explain why NASA has been at near stagnation for thirty years. NASA could have been making slower quieter progress. But NASA hasn’t really been making progress.
A new movie for all the Lunartics is coming out this year.
Director Duncan Jones is bringing us Moon, a hardcore sci-fi movie he imagined and co-wrote. The movie moon is starring starring Sam Rockwell in the lead role with Kevin Spacey lending his voice to some AI robot. No official release date, but it will probably be released in Summer 2009 or later.
The Space Movement Face Book Page came up in the second position on a Google Search of the term – The Space Movement. Rankings come and go quickly so it may no last but I feel we are making great progress in popularizing the term The Space Movement.
The Space Movement Facebook Group now has 143 members with 700 unanswered invitations. One enthusiastic young gentleman, named Christopher Calubaquib, invited his 1100 closest friends to join The Space Movement. Thank you Christopher.
Last week one of the leaders of NSS explained to me how important it was that the pro-space philosophy be seen as a movement like the Peace Movement or the Environmental Movement. Late Sunday afternoon, I had the idea that a facebook group would be a good way to easily promote the term The Space Movement, since there are dozens of space groups with many of the same members. I also realized that Facebook was having a big push with CNN for the Inauguration and that would be a prime opportunity to get members since more people would be online.
So, I set about doing that. I knew the group should have a logo so I sat down at the computer and designed one. Then I looked at how to set up a group on Facebook, by setting one up. I was going to set up a Retrocausality group, a pet project of my father, but I found they already had one complete with picture of my father, I joined. Then I moved on to try the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, one of my father’s previous projects, as I was setting it up I noticed it wanted a website.
So, I realize I should also set up The Space Movement Web Site and I might as well set up a The Space Movement Blog. From experience I knew that a Café press store is a great way to get noticed by Google because it is very easy to create a lot of products and each product creates a page and, Cafe Press and Google are working together so Cafe Press is indexed very quickly. So since I already had a logo, I also set up The Space Movement store on Cafe Press.
The Face book Space Movement Group now has 29 members. If you are on Facebook, I hope you come by and join The Space Movement Group. I hope that within a week the first ten pages found by a Google search of the term “The Space Movement” will mean the pro-space movement.
I have found that there isn’t much material on The Space Movement, as such, so if any one has good material on the web please send me the link. Please use the term The Space Movement often. It is important to make it part of the national jargon in order for space settlement to be taken seriously.
Recent Review include Space Enterprise by Philip Robert Harris reviewed by David Brandt-Erichsen, How to Live on Mars by Robert Zubrin reviewed by Brian Enke. Saturn for My Birthday by John McGranaghan reviewed by Marianne Dyson.
NASA radar flying aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is giving scientists their first look inside the moon’s coldest, darkest craters. The Mini-SAR instrument, a lightweight, synthetic aperture radar sent back images of the floors of permanently-shadowed polar craters on the moon that aren’t visible from Earth. Scientists are using the instrument to search the insides of the craters for water ice.
Astronauts participating in the Inaugural Parade include Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe, mission specialists Donald Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Greg Chamitoff who flew on space shuttle Endeavour in November 2008 on the STS-126 mission. Astronaut Mike Gernhardt will drive the rover and Astronaut Rex Walheim,wearing a spacesuit, will ride with him. NASA will video the parade from a camera mounted on the lunar rover and the lunar rover team will provide live updates to the NASA News Twitter feed throughout the event.
The National Space Society and the Space Exploration Alliance are having the 2009 Legislative Blitz February 22-24 in Washington DC. Come to the Capitol and tell your congress people and their staff how important space is to you.