Saturday, May 15, 2010
I did some yard work this morning, came in the house, had some lunch, took a shower, and sat down to watch some TV. Did some channel surfing, ran across the Yankee game and watched it from the seventh inning on. They won. Went back to channel surfing and ran across the movie "Apollo 13". It was about two-thirds over, but I figured I'd watch the end of it. It was about the moon mission, in April of 1970, that had an explosion on board on the way to the moon and barely made it safely back to Earth. The entire world was holding their breath. Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell, Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert, and Bill Paxton as Fred Haise. It's a riveting movie even if you know the outcome, because it is based on a true story. The glory days of the United States space program. The Mercury program, with our first man into space (it wasn't John Glenn, it was Alan Shepherd). The Gemini program, with two men in space in the same capsule, practicing docking with other space craft, and space walks, then the Apollo Program. Man going to the moon!! The incredible Apollo 8 Christmas Eve flyby of the moon, with Frank Borman reading from the Genesis chapter of the Bible, while us earth folks back down here were seeing live pictures of the moon from the Apollo capsule. Finally, Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins going to the moon. The whole world was watching. Finally, the phrase, 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Neil Armstrong was standing on the moon. The U.S. and the human race had done it, as had explorers going all the way back to the first caveman who wondered what was over the next hill. It is human nature to explore and venture into the unknown, think of the Vikings, Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Ponce DeLeon, Magellan, Pizzaro, Hudson, Captain Cook, Sir Francis Drake, Coronado, Champlain, Cartier, Marquette, Joliet, Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, Jim Bridger, Amundsen, Scott, Perry,............................ The list goes on and on and will continue, as we go forward in our "history". BUT, is the United States going to be part of it? Not with the current administration in Washington. We spent billions of dollars helping to build the International Space Station, and after the present Shuttle Atlantis which is in orbit as I write this, there are only two shuttle flights left before the program ends. After that, we have no way of getting U.S. astronauts into space, unless we hitch a ride with the Russians or in the very near future, the Chinese, or maybe the Iranians. President Obama has canceled the manned space program, including the new "Constellation" rocket which has been under development, and we've already spent billions on it.. I guess this is his way of "changing" America. He is taking us from the world leader in space exploration to a country of has beens. He says it's too expensive. This from a guy who has no problem running up a $1.5 trillion deficit, but can't come up with $15-20 billion to maintain the U. S. Manned Space program. If it wasn't so serious, I'd be laughing out load. This guy is a joke with a capital "J". Shame on him. I had hoped to live long enough to see Americans on Mars. Guess that isn't going to happen now.