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Apollo 11 at 50: Celebrating first steps on another world

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By MARCIA DUNN

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Pretty impressive.

Mods: Let's not allow conspiracy theorists to soil this thread.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

stanley kubrick is rolling in his grave which was dug for him.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

After 50 years we have never been back?

Where did all the dreams for moonbases, life in space, colonies on Mars go?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

After 50 years we have never been back?

Where did all the dreams for moonbases, life in space, colonies on Mars go?

In 2 words: bad luck. Seems Nasa has had a string of it.

"I'd go to the moon in a nanosecond. The problem is we don't have the technology to do that anymore. We used to but we destroyed that technology and it's a painful process to build it back again." Don Pettit, Nasa Astronaut

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk8vILOaLpg

Moon landing tapes got erased, NASA admits

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nasa-tapes/moon-landing-tapes-got-erased-nasa-admits-idUSTRE56F5MK20090716

ps; No conspiracy theory in the above for anyone whose comfort zone might have been disturbed. Or is it a micro aggression these days? I'm not sure.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

There are still the conspiracy stories about how it never happened. I remember watching the TV, I was a mid age teen. Just started working in my first year has an apprentice engineer. Amazing event and when you compared the technology with today's it seems so impossible.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There are still the conspiracy stories about how it never happened.

It’s a main course on the conspiracy theory menu.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I consider this mankind's greatest achievement. I was a teenager in awe that summer of '69 as I gazed at the moon after the sun went down and tried to wrap my head around the fact there were actually people up there. 

Buzz -- I so admire and remain in awe of what you and others did in Apollo; I miss those times. Thank you.

We are slowly but surely wrecking the climate on this planet. Our focus and priority effort must be on saving our home, not flying away from a fouled nest. 

Mars can wait a bit longer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It was quite a time. I remember my grandmother was so excited that she took a photo of her TV at the moment Armstrong took that first step on the moon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I was in Honolulu that day. There was a popular Chinese restaurant where you could never get seated without a long wait and I told my mother, "Hey I bet everybody's watching the moon landing on TV, let's go to the Ming Court." We did and sure enough it was almost empty.

A couple of months later I was in Taipei, Taiwan. Two typhoons hit within three days during the mid-Autumn festival, and the city was badly flooded. Chinese blamed the U.S. for upsetting the moon god. Well, you can't please everybody I guess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Congratulations NASA!! I was a young boy when this historic event happened. It was the culmination of 20th century U.S. technological achievements.

Yes, the Vietnam war, civil and racial upheavals were going on, but the U.S. Space Program was the one bright, positive thing going on during the 1960s. It gave hope and optimism and all that space exploration and colonization potentially offered. Things would have been much different had Congress appropriated funding to continue the Apollo program and its follow-on Apollo Applications Program as Wernher von Braun envisioned.

I recall Christopher Glen broadcasting Apollo launches on the CBS radio network. I figured these launches weren't a big deal and were routine at the time. Little did I know, America will never return to the moon in my lifetime.

Where did all the dreams for moonbases, life in space, colonies on Mars go?

The reality is politics and earth-bound priorities, lack of profitability and lack of public interest killed it. These could have been a reality by the 1980s had NASA stuck with von Braun's long range plans. Politicians were more interested in funding social programs and wars and other earth-bound priorities, so NASA's budget was cut. President Nixon saw the U.S. won the space race and there was no need to continue (and he was not a supporter of a program Kennedy established). Private industry saw no short-term profitability in space and the investment in space infrastructure and hardware is enormous and ROI would take a long time to recoup. Then there's the economics of getting into space. Back in the 1970s, rockets were expensive. The reusable Space Shuttle was intended to lower the cost, but it never fulfilled its goals to make earth-to-orbit economically affordable. People aren't willing to move into orbiting colonies and moon bases because of the inherent risks involved. And then again, rockets have a tendency to blow up from time to time.

But during the past fifty years later, we've done little. The U.S. space program has stagnated. A space shuttle, a space station -- all busts. Perhaps the original concept was good, but in reality they were limited success and of little value.

So, fifty years later, we are nowhere. We have no operational manned spacecraft, no goals except for missions to satisfy scientific curiosity and exploration. All NASA can do is rest on its Apollo moon program laurels.

Orion and SLS are behind schedule and over budget. Why is this? Is NASA leadership and Boeing expertise inept? Boeing can't even design a derivative aircraft (737 MAX) correctly and I am supposed to believe the company can design and build SLS? A 50-year gap in knowledge and expertise is partially to blame for Orion/SLS ineptness. Also, the politicians in Congress, particularly those who control the budget, don't support NASA or care about the future of the U.S. space program. When Joe "Six Pack" Biden wins the election (I hope not) he will be pressured to cancel the program. AOC and her "Gang of Four" will see to it.

I have to grudgingly admit that the future of space and utilization of its potential may well belong to China. China has more pragmatic and realistic plans, including mining the moon and exploiting the resources as a foundation for a space-based economy aimed at long term wealth creation for China. https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/chinas-get-rich-space-program/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A fantastic achievement. I wanted to be an astronaut.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes Zichi, agreed that compared the technology with today's it seems so impossible.

It was just a propaganda to show a win against the soviet union.

It may possible to arrived but how it possible to return, what was the energy to push back the vessel???

In my limited knowledge, I can't understand.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Greatest achievement in the history of mankind. Done with less technology and computing power than you have in your cell phone too.

Since then? I guess the feeling was that "we won" and the race was over. So many resources were poured into the moon mission that there was nothing left over. We beat the Soviets and could rest on our collective laurels. But I guarantee if you asked people at that time in 1969, "Where do you think we will be in space in 2019?", they would have answered on the other planets for sure, with moon bases in abundance and tourist flights to lunar resorts.

What's next? I think it will be up to entrepeneurs like Elon Musk who have the combination of resources and vision to take the next step. People who are not encumbered by bureaucracy and budgetary considerations and political interference. I say Musk to Mars by 2030.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have no doubts over the lunar mission and accept it actually happened even with the low grade technology compared to today.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

400,000 workers were involved. if it was only a conspiracy how did they convince them all so well?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Zichi: you can think now because of the development of media & technology now, 50 years back there was no way to ask clarification to NASA from worker. What they saw in the TV screen they believed it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

 When Joe "Six Pack" Biden wins the election (I hope not) he will be pressured to cancel the program. AOC and her "Gang of Four" will see to it.

Not that it has anything to do with the moon landing, of course.

We can go to the moon but we can't co-exist. A clever and deeply stupid species, human beings.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No stars?

Must've been cloudy on the moon.

ROFL.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A disappointing turnout from our conspiracy theorists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It may possible to arrived but how it possible to return, what was the energy to push back the vessel? In my limited knowledge, I can't understand.

Maybe eventually it'll cross your mind to find out.

What's the obstacle?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

equivalent to more than $150 billion in today's dollars.

That's all? A relative bargain. The F-35 fighter jet program is supposed to cost $1.5 trillion over its lifespan. Which would you rather spend the money on?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The moon landings were an amazing feat with a bare minimum of technical and scientific knowledge. I was very disappointed by the national reaction at the time of Neil Armstrong’s death several years ago. He represented all of the effort, hard work and bravely of so many back then. He was a very humble man and didn’t want to be the center of attention but he represented so much more than his own personal accomplishments.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A couple of notable things about the Apollo 11 mission:

The miniature video cameras they had that survived the perils of space (including the camera on Armstrong's spacesuit's chest way before there's GoPro) that allowed people around the world to see the moon landing live.

And Tang, lol

https://www.foodandwine.com/lifestyle/how-nasa-made-tang-cool

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No stars? Must've been cloudy on the moon.

Nice one. No atmosphere - no clouds - no light scattering - hard to see stars unless you focus. Look it up. If they'd done it the film studio, they'd have had stars all over the place - like Star Wars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We can go to the moon but we can't co-exist. A clever and deeply stupid species, human beings.

Of which you are a member of. So....what's your solution, my misanthropic friend?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What people nowadays fail to appreciate is that the Apollo moon landing is not so much a scientific achievement, but really an engineering/technical achievement. All the astrophysics theory, the engineering knowledge and capability to build rockets and manned spacecraft were already in place.

All that was needed was the incentive to go into space and to the moon. That impetus was political pressure and legislative mandate, competitive urgency, public support and enthusiasm, and of course, money.

The physics theory of space flight was well known back in the 1950s. It is rooted in Newtonian physics, developed in the 18th century. The methodology of reaching extreme altitudes was formulated by the Russian physicist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1903. Robert H. Goddard (in the U.S.), Hermann Oberth and Wernher von Braun (in Germany) were designing and building liquid fuel rockets in the late 1920s and 1930s that culminated in the V-2, the first operational ballistic missile in 1944 and later became the basis of 1950s/1960s Soviet and U.S. rockets. The Saturn V is basically a scaled-up, multi-stage refined and modernized V-2 rocket as is the Soyuz launch rocket still in use today. 

The Apollo program legacy is the ultimate achievement of massive engineering and logistical support undertaking, political unity and funding support, public enthusiasm, dedication, working in unity and cooperation toward a defined, specific goal of "Man, Moon, Decade", which we will probably never see again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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