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Apollo 11 - 50th Anniversary of the Launch
Old 07-16-2019, 04:47 AM   #1
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Apollo 11 - 50th Anniversary of the Launch

50 years ago today, July 16, 1969, was the launch of Apollo 11, with commander Neil Armstrong, lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, and command module pilot Mike Collins. Four days later was the first manned landing on the Moon.
My family would normally have been away on vacation at that time, but there was no TV there. I insisted that we be home so I could watch everything, and that's what we did. I was glued to every broadcast.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:55 AM   #2
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I remember watching the landing on tv with my grandfather, and how he was awestruck by it. But then again, he was born in the same year as the Wright brothers first flight. The moon landing was quite a feat given the progress made in the 66 years since the Wright brothers flight..
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:58 AM   #3
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That was quite an achievement and thrilling to watch. The Smithsonian is going to project an image of the Saturn Launch Vehicle on the Washington Monument for the next three nights. I plan to bike down and check it out.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:01 AM   #4
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I just can’t believe it’s been 50 years!

I remember very well seeing the moon landing on TV even though I was only 9. But I think even then I understood the magnitude of what I was seeing.

We started watching the PBS series Chasing the Moon in commemoration.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:03 AM   #5
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I remember watching a lot of it with my Dad on a black and white TV while sitting in the basement during a hot humid Wisconsin summer.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:16 AM   #6
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What we didn't know or appreciate at the time was that the LEM had about 25 seconds of fuel left when it touched down.

EAGLE: Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.

CONTROL: Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:33 AM   #7
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Im not really sure what the point of the moon landing was? I have to assume it was to show dominance globally since we were competing with the soviets? More of a psychological thing? We never really did anything with the moon itself. There arent any colonies, there arent nukes that can be launched from the moon. Seems odd to me.

And since we havent been back to the moon since the early 70's...that sort of goes to show how pointless it was. Id like to think with our current technology, it would be a lot easier to get there now? Why not go back?
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
Im not really sure what the point of the moon landing was? I have to assume it was to show dominance globally since we were competing with the soviets? More of a psychological thing? We never really did anything with the moon itself. There arent any colonies, there arent nukes that can be launched from the moon. Seems odd to me.

And since we havent been back to the moon since the early 70's...that sort of goes to show how pointless it was. Id like to think with our current technology, it would be a lot easier to get there now? Why not go back?
NASA says we are going back
https://www.nasa.gov/specials/apollo50th/back.html
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:23 AM   #9
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I'm still a big fan. I have mission patches, space art, astronaut autographs, etc. I have met several of the Apollo astronauts.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:27 AM   #10
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Im not really sure what the point of the moon landing was? I have to assume it was to show dominance globally since we were competing with the soviets? More of a psychological thing? We never really did anything with the moon itself. There arent any colonies, there arent nukes that can be launched from the moon. Seems odd to me.

And since we havent been back to the moon since the early 70's...that sort of goes to show how pointless it was. Id like to think with our current technology, it would be a lot easier to get there now? Why not go back?
Why do people climb Mt. Everest? I mean they just go to the top and turn around. They donít build a house there or a science base station.

Iím sure we were motivated by some of the wrong reasons, but we did it, to paraphrase the old saying, because it was there. These type of endeavors increase our knowledge in ways that are so significant, yet often, we donít even realize the connection. Iím sure the goal to reach the moon advanced the sciences multiple times over and space exploration continues to do so. Plus, itís just absolutely amazing. Fast forward to today and we have unmanned rovers on Mars. Imagine if we find life there. Itís amazing.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:33 AM   #11
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Space Race. Russian Sputnik scared the heck out of the US and motivated us to get our act together. I expect things would have been different in a non Cold War scenario. Regardless, I think it was a great achievement that brought a lot of people together and had lots of peripheral benefits for technology.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:35 AM   #12
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I was there for the launch, my uncle worked on the Mariner project, so got to watch from the grandstands. Oldmike
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:40 AM   #13
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I remember watching it on TV and most of the missions before that too. I don't think I really had an appreciation of the magnitude of the accomplishments back then (my teen years). About 20 years later I actually worked alongside one of the guys who worked in mission control during that time.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:41 AM   #14
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Im not really sure what the point of the moon landing was? I have to assume it was to show dominance globally since we were competing with the soviets? More of a psychological thing? We never really did anything with the moon itself. There arent any colonies, there arent nukes that can be launched from the moon. Seems odd to me.

And since we havent been back to the moon since the early 70's...that sort of goes to show how pointless it was. Id like to think with our current technology, it would be a lot easier to get there now? Why not go back?
There is a bit of irony in your final two sentences. You can draw an almost direct line from the the 60's and the technological innovations that were necessary to achieve a lunar landing right up to present day. In fact, many of the engineers and technicians who were let-go from their positions at NASA near the end of the Apollo program went on to work at places like IBM and applied their knowledge and experience to creating even more advanced technologies.

Pointless? Perhaps, if that is how one views the quest for knowledge and a desire to explore beyond the boundaries what is presently known.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:42 AM   #15
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I vaguely remember the moon landing as a 6-year old. What I remember more is the parade we had here afterward in Bethpage, home of the LEM's builder, Grumman. For many years there was a small display case with a model LEM at the local train station. My house growing up, and where my dad still lives, was separated from Grumman by a chain-link fence. The small airport it used for its military jets was noisy at times. It closed years ago and much of its land was sold off.


Unfortunately, Grumman, or what little is left of it, has been in the news a lot lately due to its contamination of the underground water supply dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. But back then, everyone heard of Bethpage thanks to Grumman and LEM.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:42 AM   #16
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I was going to observe that the 50th anniversary has revived conspiracy theories that the moon landing was faked, but a google search indicates that it has only revived news stories about fake moon landing conspiracy theories. Carry on.

BTW, according to Google, eBay has great deals on fake moon landings. Huge selection. Free shipping available.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:18 AM   #17
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My dad worked for NASA for his entire career starting in the late 50s and he worked with Neil Armstrong at Edwards Air Force Base back in the early sixties when Neil was a test pilot on the X15. So to say he had a keen interest in the space program as did everyone back then is a bit of an understatement!

We lived in California so it was still light out when they landed on the moon. Dad closed all the drapes and took pictures of the TV screen as they landed. They are not the best pictures but certainly a unique piece of history that I cherish.FB_IMG_1563285984419.jpegFB_IMG_1563285979615.jpegFB_IMG_1563285965360.jpeg
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:53 AM   #18
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A buddy worked for IBM for many years, and forwarded these 2 links from IBM Alumni


https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/space/


https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/1773841/uiconf_id/39954662/entry_id/0_f01nuk4t/embed/dynamic



Note the first link talks about IBM 360 computer was used to support the Apollo mission. I learned to program on IBM 360 back in 1975. Memories
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:57 AM   #19
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Im not really sure what the point of the moon landing was? I have to assume it was to show dominance globally since we were competing with the soviets? More of a psychological thing? We never really did anything with the moon itself. There arent any colonies, there arent nukes that can be launched from the moon. Seems odd to me.

And since we havent been back to the moon since the early 70's...that sort of goes to show how pointless it was. Id like to think with our current technology, it would be a lot easier to get there now? Why not go back?
Ponyboy, I think that, if we humans do not destroy our planet with nuclear or environmental catastrophe, we will go back sooner or later. BUT you raise a question that will be seriously debated by historians in the future. 50 years is insignificant in the history of humanity, but it is NOT insignificant in the context of the industrial revolution. The internet, which is the second technological revolution, has transformed the world in under 30 years.

And think of the 30 year period following the voyages of Columbus. A whole new world (to the Eastern Hemisphere) was discovered and transformed in that period - BEFORE any industrial revolution. It happened so quickly!

On the other hand, there were Viking settlements in the Western Hemisphere that were never followed up. There was also an important voyage of discovery made by the Chinese empire around the Horn of Africa BEFORE the Portuguese sailed in the opposite direction. Also never followed up. Historians use these two examples to demonstrate that "advances" and "discoveries" can also result in dead ends, and "something else" is required.

Future historians will be writing volumes on that missing "something else." Was it private enterprise? Columbus's initial voyages were government projects, but private enterprise (and privateers!) soon entered the field. Was it that *gold* showed up as part of the earliest results? Was it the social dynamism caused by conflict in Europe?

I think that one observation that needs to be kept in mind is that "Space" has NOT been abandoned. There has been a steady expansion of research projects in space, still mostly government sponsored, from an increasing number of states There have been great discoveries.

Had I to bet, I would say that we - humanity, not necessarily the US - will be back to the moon in my lifetime (and I watched that first landing). Again, IF we are not overwhelmed by nuclear or environmental catastrophe. And I think there will be a rapid uptick from now on in private enterprise in space, which will gradually become a driver.

But it would be great if those of us who enjoy thinking about this would pull together our thoughts on why this 50 year hiatus, because our descendents WILL be interested in what we think about it.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:18 AM   #20
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This week is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Two weeks ago today was the 55th anniversary of the civil rights act.

It should be acknowledged that for many Americans - and especially those who had been systemically discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin - the quest for a manned lunar landing and EVA was pursued to the exclusion of remedying long standing social and economic injustices.
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