Monday, July 15, 2019

To LEO - and Back Again!

To paraphrase Buzz Lightyear.

Which is appropriate, since this proposal is from the OTHER Buzz - Aldrin.

It's clear that NASA's role in space has changed. They primarily see themselves as a research agency, that limits their provider role in space exploration. Much of their plan is geared to using commercial operations for the launch vehicles, shuttles, and other hardware.

Which is OK. After all, the government has a long history of outsourcing their essential functions to private business - the Pony Express, airline-facilitated mail operations, education at many levels, refugee re-settlement (almost all by the NGOs - many of them religious organizations), and, currently, many facets of military support.

I've been watching NOVA lately, with my husband (retired science/math teacher). The quality of the shows is excellent, and - for younger viewers who were not alive at the time - gives background to the reasons why we celebrate the 'moon missions' and should be actively working to ramp up further MANNED exploration.

Yes, there is a role for the drones. But, at this time, nothing can replace the people. Here's a link to the history of the Apollo missions.

I stronly recommend the NOVA programs - visually, they are often quite stunning (of course, the universe provides the raw material, but NASA's graphics specialists lend an amazing level of artistry to the photos in color choices, enhancement, and processing the raw data).

Here's a link to the video/images site. Warning: it's like crack for the eyes - once started, you just can't stop clicking on the links.



CONNECTIONS is also a great one.

Glenda T Goode said...

I was just entering junior high when we started Apollo and in a very short time headed to the moon. I think that pretty much everyone was in awe of the things that NASA had done. You have to remember NASA had only been in the public's eye for less than 10 years and really only since project Mercury took flight. For an agency to put such massive things together in such a short time was just amazing.

Looking back with the wisdom that years of my life provide I realize what a gamble that whole endeavor was. Living through the two shuttle accidents I realize how quickly things can go wrong and how easily fatal mistakes can be missed by everyone involved.

Our nation needs a confidence builder like the Apollo moon landings. We need some kind of feat that would inspire us to be better than we are. Otherwise, it is a life of the lowest common denominator and that is the political conversation of today......

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Sadly it will never happen our government is to broke. Linda I have been watching everything I can catch. The level of new information is excellent. 50 years later I am wowed even more.