Thursday, July 16, 2009


I wasn't even alive for the Apollo 11 Moon landing. In fact, I was not yet 2 years old when we last left the Moon. That's a long time ago. I've often thought that the people of Apollo (and Mercury and Gemini) deserved better from us. Where is our Moonbase? When is our Mars Expedition? Why are we still here? The legacy of Apollo is a great one, but what will our legacy be? As our new NASA administrator Charles Bolden pointed out, he used to go to schools and the students wanted to be astronauts. Now, he says, they want to go into business. Really? Instead of spaceships and exploration, our children dream of MBAs? Not if I have anything to do with it.

There are many commemorations of this 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing.

  • For the uber-geeky amongst you, I recommend the January 30, 1970 issue of Science, containing the first science articles from the mission.
  • NASA has released some newly restored videos from the Apollo 11 mission.
  • And then, there is, which is broadcasting the Apollo 11 mission "live" as it happened 40 years ago. Take a few moments to listen to it, will you? The back-and-forth between CapCom and the astronauts sounds like an epic poem. Even the static whispers promises of adventures and knowledge and grandeur just within our reach, if we try.


AaronJV said...

Sing it, sister!

It has been said by others that Wall Street stole the best and the brightest for the science of making money out of thin air---we've finally turned lead into gold using derivatives, default-credit swaps, subprime mortgages, etc..

Is it any wonder that uncut capitalism burns me?

If it's any consolation, even though my tutee is QUITE interested in money and the hottest gadgets, and I use consumerism as algebra examples, he still has a photo of the ISS over his bed (that I gave him, a high-res printout), knows about the LHC (but worried that it's going to make a black hole that eats the planet), and frequently asks about the massive asteroid that's going to smack the Earth.

Maybe that's the ticket to getting young boys back into astronomy: talk about huge explosions.

Keep fighting the good fight!


Dr. Lisa said...

Yay for your tutee!

I always talk about huge explosions. Astronomy is full of them. Huge explosions make pretty pictures!

The trouble is convincing people that making money does not leave humanity richer.