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Ed Hudgins

The First Moon Landing 45 Years On

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The First Moon Landing 45 Years On
By Edward Hudgins

July 18, 2014 – On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to land and walk on the Moon. Armstrong is no longer with us to mark the anniversary of this incredible achievement. But Buzz has been active in keeping the dream of human space exploration alive.

Forty-five years after making those famous footprints on the lunar surface, Aldrin’s #Apollo45 Facebook and social media celebration features videos of prominent folks answering the question “Where were you when men landed on the Moon?” Most of the comments exude the excitement that this achievement inspired. And some also express sadness at the fact that only twelve humans have ever kicked up the dust on Earth’s satellite and that no one has gone on to build lunar bases and settlements.

In his latest book Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration, Aldrin and co-author Leonard David suggest that a next great human achievement should be the human exploration of the Red Planet.

Aldrin offers his own perspective on the best way to get there. But two facts are crucial to keep in mind when contemplating such missions.

First, it is best for the private sector to lead the way. For example, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, whose company has already launched private cargo rockets to the International Space Station, has said his goal is to die on Mars—but not on landing! And the private Mars One project wants to send settlers to Mars not to explore and then return but, rather, to stay there permanently.

And second, space exploration represents humanity at its best. It’s an amazing achievement of human reason.

So let’s celebrate the 45th anniversary of that one giant leap for mankind and let the spirit of that mission inspire even greater achievements in the future.
-----
Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

For further information:

*Edward Hudgins, “Neil Armstrong: American Hero.” August 27, 2012.

*Edward Hudgins, When We Walked on the Moon, July 17, 2009.

*Edward Hudgins, “Apollo 11 on Human Achievement Day.” July 20, 2005.

*Edward Hudgins, The Spiritual Significance of Mars. August 12, 2003.

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Space is the place!

Come to the High Frontier!

We now live somewhere between George Orwell and George Jetson. It is not that science fiction predicted the future, but that we learned to expect a future different from the past. We call it progress. That can only come from spontaneous human action, not from central planning. Progress cannot be directed.

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The Apollo project, however brilliant its accomplishments was a pissing contest between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The U.S. eventually won but it was not the Apollo project that brought the "victory" (a rather thin and temporary victory at that).

The big loss was that the technology which brought men to our near neighboring Moon was not incrementally developed, expanded and improved upon. Analogy: The Apollo project was like Columbus' three small ships (barques that were barely 80 feet in length), guided to the New World by a combination of luck and skill (Columbus knew the trade winds, he was a champ).

However sailing ships did undergo incremental improvement until they reached their natural peak in the YankeThe clipper which could average 20 knots when the wind was right and tack very close-hauled into an opposing wind. The next step was steam propelled vessels that were initially slower than Yankee Clippers but did not need the wind. These ships won the propulsion race and still are the ships that ply the seas and do the commerce.

Unfortunately our space propulsion systems have not gone through the incremental improvement until they reached perfection.

The successor to the Apollo was the abominable space shuttle and tile covered piece of shit which brought any progress in the perfection of rockets to a halt. Our rocket development went into the doldrums and now private companies are working on the rocket version of the Yankee Clipper. What is really missing is the Next Step -- going to ion drive which can provide steady acceleration over extended periods of time. Ion drive vessels producing maybe g/6 acceleration over long periods of time can shorten the journey to Mars from 9 months (at conjunction) to between one to two months (at conjunction) and lead to way to even faster vessels. No, we won't get Warp Drive that way, but we might get a trip to Neptune and Uranus in under six months.

I think of the success of the Apollo program as a circus display and the Shuttle program as the funeral march for our manned space programmed. Progress died with STS.

A pissing contest between Britain and Spain may be propelled the colonization of the New World. Unfortunately the pissing contests between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R did not bring colonization of the Moon.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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With power over the wealth and labor of their people, rulers such as Khufu, Qin Shi Huang, and Nixon could accomplish truly amazing spectacles.

The Apollo Project as America's Great Pyramid.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I watched the moon landing while in Japan.....doing my time in the Army.

In front of a tv in the clubhouse of a Japanese golf club in Yokohama, I was pleasantly surprised to see all the Japanese applause & cheer.

They certainly appreciated the achievement.

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The Apollo project, however brilliant its accomplishments was a pissing contest between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

[...]

Unfortunately our space propulsion systems have not gone through the incremental improvement until they reached perfection.

The successor to the Apollo was the abominable space shuttle and tile covered piece of shit which brought any progress in the perfection of rockets to a halt. Our rocket development went into the doldrums and now private companies are working on the rocket version of the Yankee Clipper. What is really missing is the Next Step -- going to ion drive which can provide steady acceleration over extended periods of time.

You may have come across news of Franklin Change Diaz's VASIMR rocket design:

Traveling to Mars is not easy, which may be why no one has ever tried. It would take a good six to nine months to get there with today’s chemical-fueled rockets. Along the way, according to a 2013 study, you’d get dosed with the radiation equivalent of a whole-body CT scan every five to six days, increasing your lifetime cancer risk above the limits set by NASA. Upon reaching the Red Planet, you’d wait up to two years for Earth and Mars to be at their closest before your return trip, which would last another six to nine months. If the cosmic rays didn’t get you, the long layover might.

But what if there were a better way — a new kind of rocket that could transport you to Mars in less than six weeks? It would drastically cut both travel time and radiation exposure, and instead of three years, the entire round-trip flight could theoretically last just three months. This isn’t mere sci-fi speculation: In a nondescript warehouse in Webster, Texas, a forward-thinking scientist is developing a prototype rocket engine that could make space travel faster than ever before.

Franklin Chang Díaz, an MIT-trained physicist and former NASA astronaut, has spent more than 30 years tinkering with the rocket engine he invented, which he believes can transform interplanetary flight. In 2005, he founded a company, Ad Astra (Latin for “to the stars”), to pursue that goal, and he remains an unabashed advocate of space exploration. “The first person that is going to walk on Mars has already been born,” he says. And he hopes they’ll use his rocket to get there.

[...]

Even though you’d still need a conventional chemical rocket to reach space from the ground, once there this engine could generate enough thrust to get people to Mars three to four times as fast as a traditional spacecraft — within 39 days, under the most favorable conditions. The idea of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket — or VASIMR — was thus born.

how-it-works.jpg

Edited by william.scherk

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The Apollo project, however brilliant its accomplishments was a pissing contest between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

[...]

Unfortunately our space propulsion systems have not gone through the incremental improvement until they reached perfection.

The successor to the Apollo was the abominable space shuttle and tile covered piece of shit which brought any progress in the perfection of rockets to a halt. Our rocket development went into the doldrums and now private companies are working on the rocket version of the Yankee Clipper. What is really missing is the Next Step -- going to ion drive which can provide steady acceleration over extended periods of time.

You may have come across news of Franklin Change Diaz's VASIMR rocket design:

Traveling to Mars is not easy, which may be why no one has ever tried. It would take a good six to nine months to get there with today’s chemical-fueled rockets. Along the way, according to a 2013 study, you’d get dosed with the radiation equivalent of a whole-body CT scan every five to six days, increasing your lifetime cancer risk above the limits set by NASA. Upon reaching the Red Planet, you’d wait up to two years for Earth and Mars to be at their closest before your return trip, which would last another six to nine months. If the cosmic rays didn’t get you, the long layover might.

But what if there were a better way — a new kind of rocket that could transport you to Mars in less than six weeks? It would drastically cut both travel time and radiation exposure, and instead of three years, the entire round-trip flight could theoretically last just three months. This isn’t mere sci-fi speculation: In a nondescript warehouse in Webster, Texas, a forward-thinking scientist is developing a prototype rocket engine that could make space travel faster than ever before.

Franklin Chang Díaz, an MIT-trained physicist and former NASA astronaut, has spent more than 30 years tinkering with the rocket engine he invented, which he believes can transform interplanetary flight. In 2005, he founded a company, Ad Astra (Latin for “to the stars”), to pursue that goal, and he remains an unabashed advocate of space exploration. “The first person that is going to walk on Mars has already been born,” he says. And he hopes they’ll use his rocket to get there.

[...]

Even though you’d still need a conventional chemical rocket to reach space from the ground, once there this engine could generate enough thrust to get people to Mars three to four times as fast as a traditional spacecraft — within 39 days, under the most favorable conditions. The idea of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket — or VASIMR — was thus born.

how-it-works.jpg

Has it been built and tested? What kind of load can it haul? Is it man-rated?

The ion drive has been bruited about for 60 years. It would be interesting know if an ion drive vessel can haul a large mass cargo.

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.

Curiosity Rover has yielded evidence that Gale Crater had been site of a large lake for tens of millions of years: NASA

Manned mission naysayer: me.

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.

Curiosity Rover has yielded evidence that Gale Crater had been site of a large lake for tens of millions of years: NASA

Manned mission naysayer: me.

That's no problem; little shielding is necessary. Simply send old guys* like Ba'al and myself--or condemned to die murderers. The real problem is big bucks for small results. With Rover it is small bucks for big results.

--Brant

*old gals too, especially mothers-in-law

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.

Curiosity Rover has yielded evidence that Gale Crater had been site of a large lake for tens of millions of years: NASA

Manned mission naysayer: me.

That's no problem; little shielding is necessary. Simply send old guys* like Ba'al and myself--or condemned to die murderers. The real problem is big bucks for small results. With Rover it is small bucks for big results.

--Brant

*old gals too, especially mothers-in-law

No suh, Mr. Chan!!! I is not taking my ass to no Mars.

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.

Curiosity Rover has yielded evidence that Gale Crater had been site of a large lake for tens of millions of years: NASA

Manned mission naysayer: me.

That's no problem; little shielding is necessary. Simply send old guys* like Ba'al and myself--or condemned to die murderers. The real problem is big bucks for small results. With Rover it is small bucks for big results.

--Brant

*old gals too, especially mothers-in-law

No suh, Mr. Chan!!! I is not taking my ass to no Mars.

It's the asteroid belt for you!

--Brant

I'm off to Jupiter--the express is non-stop

(the dinosaurs left artifacts on the moon proving they got there first--big NASA coverup I uncovered on my last trip)

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