July 20th, 2009

40 years ago

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

What were you doing 40 years ago – that is those of you who were born before then.

I don’t remember too much about the build up but I do recall my dad coming into my bedroom to wake me up. He took me & my sister downstairs & we sat in front of the TV to watch Apollo 11 touchdown on the moon. Like many boys, I was in awe of the whole Apollo project. I had Airfix kits of the Apollo space rocket & 1/72 scale astronauts. I devoured science fiction.

I was one of the many millions around the world who watched man land on the moon, live on TV. I’ve had an admiration for men & women who strap themselves onto a massive bomb & blast off into space never really knowing of they’ll make it back.

I saw a recent documentary which said that Neil Armstrong was meant to say ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’ but missed the ‘a’ out. It makes more sense with the ‘a’ as what he actually said refers to the same thing, man & mankind. Anyway.

On this day, 40 years after man first stepped on the moon, I’d like to take a moment to think of Roger Chaffee, Virgil (Gus) Grissom, Edward White, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnick, Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Rick Husband, William McCool, Llan Ramon, Vladimir Komarov, Georgi Dobrovolsky, Viktor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov who all died when they strapped themselves to massive bombs.

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  1. Charlie Maitland says:

    What is really astonishing is that 40 years on you can subscribe to the Twitter feed of the commander of the Shuttle that is currently docked to the ISS http://Twitter.com/Astro_127 and see his updates on his mission.
    So in 40 years we have failed to stay on the moon (or other solar objects)but we have achieved the ability to have public near real time communications with the astronauts! Read into that what you will.

    July 20th, 2009 at 22:37

  2. Ashley Cocks says:

    The honor of being the first to step foot on the Moon was originally mean for Virgil “Gus” Grissom, the Masonic martyr with strange, semiotic connections to Barackobamun. But Gus fell victim to an allegedly accidental fire aboard Apollo…
    Documentary video:Gus Grissom-video

    July 21st, 2009 at 06:31

  3. Tom Gane says:

    I remember being roused from my bed, and hurried into the living room to watch the events as they unfolded.

    Like our host, I was in awe of the achievements of these intrepid individuals, and always had a sense of ‘I was there (in front of the telly that is)’ when they landed.

    A fitting tribute to the less fortunate souls whose exploration of space was doomed.

    July 21st, 2009 at 09:30

  4. Linda Baki says:

    Hi Ashley I had a virus warning when I clicked onto your link…So googled out of interest..very basic info…


    Born April 3, 1926 in Mitchell, Indiana. Gus earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. Grissom and his wife, Betty Moore Grissom, have two children, Scott and Mark.

    Lieutenant Colonel Grissom was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA in 1959. He piloted the “Liberty Bell 7″ spacecraft, the second suborbital Mercury test flight, on July 21, 1961. On March 23, 1965 Grissom served as command pilot on the first manned Gemini flight, a 3-orbit mission. He subsequently served as backup command pilot for Gemini 6, and he was chosen to serve as command pilot for the first three-manned Apollo flight, Apollo 1.
    Grissom had flown 100 combat missions with the 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Korea and earned both the Air Medal with cluster and the Distinguished Flying Cross. During a countdown simulation in preparation for the scheduled launch of the Apollo 1 mission, a flash fire consumed the spacecraft.
    Virgil “Gus” Grissom made the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life in service to the nation and the space program on January 27, 1967 at 40 years of age.
    Masons do not like to be mentioned.

    July 21st, 2009 at 09:31

  5. Rob says:

    Its the small amount of technology they used to do it that amazed me, although as I was still 18 months from conception its all history to me.

    The computer that guided the spacecraft 000′s of miles across space to enable those immortal words to be spoken and a thousand careers in Conspiracy Theorism had approximately 64Kbyte of memory and operated at 0.043MHz. Thats less than a calultor or a mobile phone or even some digital watches, some even say its less than a USB memory stick!!!

    They even had the joy of error messages too. They had a 1202 error message whilst landing. This basically meant “Oh crap – I have too much information being fed into me and I am shutting down” IT Support said it was ok to ignore this message|!! Imagine that just a few seconds from the end of your 35,000 mile journey

    Anyways, if you fancy building your very own Apollo computer you can do that too with helpful instructions from NASA although I dont think they’lll help you get there!!

    July 21st, 2009 at 15:28

  6. COPPER BOTTOM says:

    Armstrong was chosen as he was technically a civilian- and that was a nice important point to make to the ‘evil empire’…

    I like the gen nice touch of including the Russian Cosmonaughts – the Apollo crews showing the way forward some years before the polititians …

    Shame we stopped- onto Mars and beyond…

    July 21st, 2009 at 16:25

  7. Tony F says:

    One of the Astronauts, I think it was indeed Gus Grissom, said that just before launch, he was lying in his capsule thinking that he was at the very tip of the world largest fire work, built by the lowest bidder…..

    July 21st, 2009 at 18:00

  8. MarkUK says:

    A bit similar to the Challenger disaster.

    According to Prof Richard Feynman who was on the board of inquiry, one of the senior engineering blokes at the manufacturer of the solid fuel booster rockets was told “Think like a manager, not like an engineer”.

    He did so, the launch went ahead and…

    July 21st, 2009 at 19:48

  9. COPPER BOTTOM says:

    That was Alan Shepherd…

    He also said the famous ‘Shepherd’s prayer… Sitting on the top of the rocket- ‘Lord, don’t let me fuck up..’

    July 21st, 2009 at 20:35

  10. Fee says:

    Forty years ago I was lying on my back, dribbling and pee-ing myself. In my defense, I was only six months old!

    I cannot imagine the sheer guts it took to get into those things. They had less computing power available than my daughter’s mobile phone, and still made it there and back again.

    July 24th, 2009 at 08:55

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