The last American to land on the moon was nearly 50 years ago, a fact that is today almost incomprehensible. Of course, NASA has already landed a car on Mars, which is undoubtedly more difficult. Praise be to them. Elon Musk, who is foolish and irrational, also launched a real car into Earth’s orbit. I kind of like it even though that is something a 12-year-old with a few billion bucks would do.
But now, NASA is poised to send Artemis, another moon mission, into orbit. To my surprise, however, I haven’t really heard a lot of conversation about it among friends and acquaintances. (Okay, one acquaintance who is a boomer space fanatic like me speaks about it.) OPINION Most individuals my age were aware of their particular location on the day that men walked on the moon. On July 20, 1969, my parents were softly beating me while I watched a Magnavox television as an eight-year-old trying to remain awake to see the most amazing event in human history.
Get unrestricted online access Get a 2-month subscription now for only $2. SUMMARY OFFER Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Jack King (the voice of Mission Control), Gus Grissom, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Frank McGee (NBC News, covering the moon shots with a big orange Gulf logo on the desk), Jules Bergman (ABC News Science Editor! ), Roy Neal (NBC correspondent who covered decades of launches), and so on were all names we were familiar with growing up. I am unable to name any NASA astronauts who are currently on the job, nor am I able to name any network space correspondents. None.
Observations such as “Zero-G and I feel fine,” Typical astronaut statements include “What the hell is SCE to AUX?” and “Give us a reading on the 1202 alert.” I’ve thought about this and have come to the conclusion that shows like Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and other media space adventures give the general population the impression that launching the moon is like taking an Uber. Yet it isn’t. Before the postponed Artemis launch, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said on “Meet the Press” that “you may expect in a test flight that everything is not going to go as you expect it to.
That is a test flight component. That has been forgotten. We shouldn’t have, though. For instance, three Apollo astronauts perished in a fire on January 27, 1967, while doing a ground test. Additionally, the Challenger space shuttle exploded on January 28, 1986, just seconds after liftoff, killing seven astronauts. Seven astronauts perished on board the space shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003, during re-entry. On the Columbia, the final successful shuttle flight before the Challenger accident, Nelson, a former senator from Florida, worked as a payload specialist.
Few people alive now would understand that risk better than he does. A woman and an American of colour will be among the four astronauts who will travel to the moon in 2025 for a planned landing. Given that our technology has evolved significantly since the 1960s, Artemis will be a more comprehensive lunar mission. For instance, the pilots of the Apollo lunar lander typed noun/verb combinations into a console that resembled a Texas Instruments calculator in terms of sophistication.
To perform those kinds of tasks, they had slide rules on the board. Many of you probably have no idea what a slide rule even is. Dummy astronauts equipped with sensors will be on board this mission, and the command module will have four seats, a rowing machine, and a flushing toilet. This is an illusion created by plywood and Christmas lights, not the Starship Enterprise’s bridge. We ought to be more interested in its launch since it is important.
Yes, I will. It’s almost like a childhood memory, and I also hope that youngsters everywhere will be motivated by this. Call an Uber to take you to the newest Star Wars film if you’re not feeling motivated. It will all work out, you know that. Artemis is real, though. That’s also much cooler.