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Apollo 11's 35th Anniversary

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the tales-of-giant-sky-ships-in-the-Southlands dept.

Space 318

colonist writes "35 years ago, on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 began to achieve the goal set by the late President Kennedy: '...before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth'. On July 20, Michael Collins orbited the moon in the command module Columbia while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface in the lunar module Eagle. The descent engine was halfway through its final 12-minute burn when a yellow caution light lit up on the display of the lunar module computer. [ARMSTRONG: Program Alarm... It's a 1202. ALDRIN: 1202. (Pause) ARMSTRONG: (To Buzz) What is it? Let's incorporate (the landing radar data). (To Houston) Give us a reading on the 1202 Program Alarm.] Buzz Aldrin's recollection: 'Back in Houston, not to mention on board the Eagle, hearts shot up into throats while we waited to learn what would happen. We had received two of the caution lights when Steve Bales the flight controller responsible for LM computer activity, told us to proceed... We received three or four more warnings but kept on going. When Mike, Neil, and I were presented with Medals of Freedom by President Nixon, Steve also received one. He certainly deserved it, because without him we might not have landed.' Fred Martin describes the incidents, and Peter Adler looks at the design of the system."

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318 comments

Happy birthday (0, Offtopic)

zaren (204877) | about 10 years ago | (#9718712)

Not just to Apollo 11, but to me! :)

Re:Happy birthday (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718789)

Happy Birthday!

Your post wasnt offtopic. Mine is!

Re:Happy birthday (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718908)

one more thing regarding this slashdot moderators mentality.

It was my missus that sums it up best: "the miserable fuckers".

News coverage... (5, Funny)

nxg125 (30911) | about 10 years ago | (#9718740)

Personally, I prefer The Onion's [theonion.com] coverage of the event. Fair and balanced, you might say.

Re:News coverage... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718772)

Fuck off Karma Whore. My name is BUCK and I am here too FUCK yo mama.

Re:News coverage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718935)

Trust The Onion to put in all in perspective.

From Earth to the Moon (5, Informative)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 10 years ago | (#9718750)

For anyone who has HBO and hasn't seen it, there is a twelve part 'docudrama' on HBO called "From Earth to the Moon". It covers the all the Apollo missions and is absolutely fascinating. It is available now if you have On Demand.

Re:From Earth to the Moon (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718795)

"Spider" the episode where they design and build the LEM is the best. Theres even a touching scene where a junior has to admit to his senior that a mistake in his calulation lead to a landing gear test failure. It's the closest thing to Love Story for enginneers that's ever been put on film.

Re:From Earth to the Moon (-1, Offtopic)

Luigi30 (656867) | about 10 years ago | (#9718856)

Are you in Tampa Bay?

Re:From Earth to the Moon (1)

antdude (79039) | about 10 years ago | (#9718959)

Also, it exists on DVD and VHS tape (ew). I am borrowing it from my boss at work. I was impressed by its ratings [imdb.com] and reviews. :)

I hope to start watching the miniseries this weekend. I didn't know it was 35th anniversary until I read /. story. Nice timing for me. ;)

Re:From Earth to the Moon (3, Interesting)

p51d007 (656414) | about 10 years ago | (#9719242)

As one who grew up with the space program from Alan Shepard, through the landings on the moon, I think the HBO film "from the earth to the moon" was one of the best documentary/drama shows that has been on tv. Well writen, VERY accurate. They did a tremendous job with that show. They used a lot of well made props along with the actors portraying them. If you have not seen this, and you have any interest in the early years of NASA, pick up a copy and watch it. It was a nice was to remember the "glory" years of NASA.

GLOND (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718751)

Green LED of Near Death.

Re:GLOND (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 10 years ago | (#9718923)

No, not a LED. Something else. Plasma or incandescent, but definitely not a LED.
Not invented yet.

Re:GLOND (1)

Graemee (524726) | about 10 years ago | (#9719052)

Correct, most likely a NIXIE tube.
http://www.decodesystems.com/nixie.html

Check this for a neat application.
http://www.amug.org/~jthomas/watch.h tml

NTOND

Nixie Tube Of Near Death

Re:GLOND (2, Informative)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 10 years ago | (#9719203)

The numerals were green high-voltage electroluminescent displays arranged in an array of seven segments per numeral to display numbers.

[from the free-defintion.com article on the Apollo Guidance Computer]

Proud to Be An American (0, Flamebait)

USAPatriot (730422) | about 10 years ago | (#9718752)

I'm glad that we did first, and the Soviet Union didn't.

Thanks to American ingenuity and resources, we led the way to American dominance of space exploration.

God bless America!

When I look back at 35 years.... (2, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | about 10 years ago | (#9718760)

And marvel at what was, and think back of what we thought could be, and see what is, I ask simply WHY?

Re:When I look back at 35 years.... (-1)

Suzuran (163234) | about 10 years ago | (#9718790)

BECAUSE IT IS THERE.

Re:When I look back at 35 years.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718842)

Because the MBA-types said so.

Re:When I look back at 35 years.... (0, Troll)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | about 10 years ago | (#9718874)

Because:

The moon belongs to America, and anxiously awaits the arrival of our astro-men. Will you be among them?

Re:When I look back at 35 years.... (1, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | about 10 years ago | (#9719048)

I wrote

And marvel at what was, and think back of what we thought could be, and see what is, I ask simply WHY?

Flamebait? I simply meant that there was so much awe at the accomplishment, and the promise of a manned Mars mission not much later, or a permanent moon colony, but that when the entire moon project was acrapped after 1972, and we relegated ourself to "shuttles", I am extremely disappointed. Why is that flamebait?

for an excelent account of NASA's early years (4, Informative)

kippy (416183) | about 10 years ago | (#9718762)

Re:for an excelent account of NASA's early years (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | about 10 years ago | (#9718939)

Actually, Gene Kranz (who wrote "Failure is not an option") was the Flight Controller for the Apollo missions. Kraft was Flight for the Mercury and Gemini missions.

Re:for an excelent account of NASA's early years (1)

Mr. Tuple (664933) | about 10 years ago | (#9719153)

And I can recommend the book (Failure is not an Option). A little ra-ra USA sometimes, but all in all an interesting account of NASA mission control.

Slack In Space! (1, Offtopic)

DynaSoar (714234) | about 10 years ago | (#9718765)

Were they running Slackware in the LEM, or was the crew just a couple of members of the Church of the SubGenius?:

"109:19:48 Armstrong: Okay. Need a little slack? (No answer; Long Pause) You need more slack, Buzz?

109:20:40 Aldrin: No. Hold it just a minute."

Buzz had enough Slack. You be the judge.

Church of SubGenius (4, Insightful)

kippy (416183) | about 10 years ago | (#9718846)

Man, this is such a troll but I'll bite.

Getting to the moon was an unbelievably complex and difficult thing to do. in retrospect it seems doable since we know it's been done but keep in mind that this was the first time this was all done.

Keeping a system of mechanical, electrical and information systems working together flawlessly is beyond most engineering feats today. If a single thing went wrong back then it could have meant the failure of the mission and loss of crew not to mention international shame. Some of the best minds in the world worked in this so to call them dumb is both ignorant and an insult to their effort.

ok, I'm done venting.

Re:Church of SubGenius (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 10 years ago | (#9719017)

I think the grandparent poster was attempting a joke... since Subgenius Church member's greatest goal is to achieve / obtain "slack", whatever quality that is.

Even though I understand the joke, I don't find it particularly funny either.

Re:Slack In Space! (2, Insightful)

Scorchio (177053) | about 10 years ago | (#9718966)

Barely related, but from article about the onboard computer:

"each time a 1201 or 1202 alarm appeared, the computer rebooted, restarted the important stuff, like steering the descent engine and occurred."

It's a good job they weren't rebooting any modern system + OS, otherwise they'd have left just another inconsequential moon crater rather than footprints.

Re:Slack In Space! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719014)

It's a good job they weren't rebooting any modern system + OS, otherwise they'd have left just another inconsequential moon crater

Thus proving that "in space, no one can see you blue screen."

Re:Slack In Space! (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about 10 years ago | (#9719106)

As I understand it, it was more of a watchdog timer interrupt than a reboot: the 'operating system' would run through the tasks allocated to it in order of priority and if it hadn't finished those tasks in one 'tick', an interrupt would raise the program error and jump back to the start. Low priority tasks like updating the displays would get dropped, but the important stuff like navigation and controlling the engine would be run properly.

my bad (1)

kippy (416183) | about 10 years ago | (#9719043)

I didn't realize that the subgenuis thing was in reference to something else.

Nice Display (0)

wonkavader (605434) | about 10 years ago | (#9718770)

Our local cowboy might want to change that link.

Recommendation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718771)

Do NOT slip a used sock over your cock when masterbating. You end up really itchy, and you cant wear that sock again until it is washed.

35 years... (3, Insightful)

no reason to be here (218628) | about 10 years ago | (#9718785)

and we haven't done much at all comparable since.

That's not to say that NASA hasn't done some great things since or recently (Hubble, Pathfinder, Opportunity and Spirit, Voyager, Pioneer all spring to mind immediately), but there hasn't been a significant excursion into space by mankind since the last Apollo mission.

Well, maybe the ISS counts for something in that regard. *shrug*

Re:35 years... (5, Insightful)

kippy (416183) | about 10 years ago | (#9718895)

Well, maybe the ISS counts for something in that regard. *shrug*

Nope. The ISS is a dead end and an expensive one at that. I defy anyone to come up with a valid reason for ISS that doesn't involve training ants to soft tiny screws in space. It is not a stepping stone to the Moon, Mars or elsewhere, it is not an important technological midpoint between LEO and planetary or lunar excursions, and it has most certainly been done before. What there is go be gained by doing it again has never been clear.

Re:35 years... (2, Insightful)

RatBastard (949) | about 10 years ago | (#9719131)

It exists to justify the existance of the Space Shuttle, another over-priced boondogle.

Re:35 years... (1)

kippy (416183) | about 10 years ago | (#9719171)

Amen. Don't even get me started on the shuttle. You know what sold Nixon on the idea? The crazy idea that we could use it to steal Soviet satellites. One silly star trek style selling point and the space program was put in idle for 30 years.

Re:35 years... (1)

dan_sdot (721837) | about 10 years ago | (#9718898)

The ISS is pretty silly. It hasn't done anything really cool yet, just a few times. It seems to me like it is more of a political tool ("all the countries working together in peace for the good of mankind...bla...bla") than an exploratory tool.

don't forget Mars is on the horizon... (0, Offtopic)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 10 years ago | (#9718962)



In spite of our half-trillion-dollar deficit, the Bush Administration is going to send humans to Mars someday. While the
announcement [cnn.com] was a feel-good distraction from the Iraq war, perhaps the actual mission will distract us from having to don space helmets to go outside because the Clean Air Act [cnn.com] was undermined to help big business.

Re:don't forget Mars is on the horizon... (3, Funny)

emc (19333) | about 10 years ago | (#9719240)

In spite of our half-trillion-dollar deficit, the Bush Administration is going to send humans to Mars someday.

I say, lets start today... With George W. Bush...

Re:35 years... (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | about 10 years ago | (#9719180)

Quite to the contrary. NASA hasn't done anything as *showy and wasteful* since.

While you don't see it every day, even on failed projects, NASA has been advancing the core sciences behind the space program. Did you know, for example, that they're making good progress on solid rocket boosters with ISPs near that of H2/O2 liquid rockets, and much greater density? (Alane - stabilized aluminum hydride). Are you familiar with NASA's materials technologies developed fro the shuttle - not just the "tiles", but all kinds of other systems for radiating heat, the efficient turbopumps and other technologies in the SSMEs, and even ways of applying corrosion-resistant linings for the nozzles through atomic-level gradients of materials so that they don't need to be reapplied each time? Even completely failed projects, such as the X-33, had some major tech advances that occurred in the process of development.

NASA has been working on huge amounts of basic technology behind the scenes. Yes, if you give them an extra couple billion, they could blow it in a big showy "We did it!" event if you wanted. They could rebuild another Generic Big Rocket(tm) and launch huge amounts of payload off the planet for (insert mission here). But I'm happy to see them advancing science instead of just repeating the past on a larger scale, personally.

Not that major missions don't advance science; it's just about cost efficiency.

interesting book about nasa now (2)

Hawkeye477 (163893) | about 10 years ago | (#9718802)

There is an interesting Book out now called Lost in Space : The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0375 421505/qid=1089999998/sr=8-6/ref=pd_ka_6/002-29955 58-2684827?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 ) which deals with this time in the history as well as the current time. I've been hearing that it is rather good and gives you an understanding of how NASA came to be the great beurocracy it is now ...

HP 65 (1, Interesting)

seminumerical (686406) | about 10 years ago | (#9718817)

I heard they had an HP 65 programmable calculator (the original PC (!)with a card reader) on that mission and that they actually had to use it as a backup. Can anyone confirm this?

Re:HP 65 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718889)

I belive the HP-65 was introduced in 1974.

Re:HP 65 (3, Informative)

HeghmoH (13204) | about 10 years ago | (#9718931)

According to http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp65.htm [hpmuseum.org] , the HP 65 was introduced in 1974, far too late to participate in any of the moon missions, but it did fly on Apollo-Soyuz and got some use doing course corrections there.

Re:HP 65 (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 10 years ago | (#9718946)

You heard wrong.

Perhaps... (5, Insightful)

Skiron (735617) | about 10 years ago | (#9718833)

...the greatest achievement man has done yet - I was 10 at the time, and can still remember looking up to the moon and thinking men were walking about on it

Nick

Re:Perhaps... (1)

perdu (549634) | about 10 years ago | (#9719208)

Sure hope it's not our highwater mark in space exploration! Have to wonder sometimes....

I was a mere 9 at the time, and I thought Apollo 8 was a very impressive feat too. Can you imagine being the first to leave Earth's gravity, and wondering if you would get back?

Guess this is just the moment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718834)

too say that I am ze BUCK and that I am here too FUCK. Gaylordzzzz.

Apollo 11: proudly brought to you by... (4, Informative)

mattjb0010 (724744) | about 10 years ago | (#9718840)

The Dish [amazon.com] .

Re:Apollo 11: proudly brought to you by... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719018)

"The Dish" is a great movie! It's funny and you get to see an aspect of the Apollo 11 mission that we americans rarely (if ever) consider. I thought it was very entertaining. Plus you get Putty (from Seinfeld) and Dr. Grant (Jurassic Park).

Celebration (4, Interesting)

DynaSoar (714234) | about 10 years ago | (#9718857)

Members of the model/amateur/experimental rocket community are holding a celebration of sorts online. Rocketers are invited to logon to The Rocketry Forum (http://rocketryforum.com) and be onine across the time point Tuesday, July 20, 10:56:15 PM EDT. This is 35 years to the second from Armstrong's "one small step". Many will be in chat, but the main point is to get as many people logged onto the board as possible during that time. Even if you've just a passing interest, drop by and check it out, and help out with the numbers just by being there. Or sign up (free) and hang around.

Re:Celebration (1)

rapett0 (92674) | about 10 years ago | (#9718991)

You are actually asking for a /.'ing? Well here you go [rocketryforum.com] .

Huh.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718858)

This is a lot of pomp and circumstance for something that never happened....

(Hey, someone had to say it!)

High-Tech User Interfaces (1, Funny)

dan_sdot (721837) | about 10 years ago | (#9718869)

These new high tech computers [startrek.com] tell us clearly everything we need to know.

"One small shit for man... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718877)

...A giant heap for mankind."

Thank you. Thank you. *bow*

Pretty amazing if you ask me... (5, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 10 years ago | (#9718888)

35 years ago we put a man on the moon.. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

What kills me is that people exclaim how the iPOD, XBOX or Furby is "revolutionary" or will change how the world does [insert buzzword here].

I wonder how many high school students today even know we put a man on the moon...

Can you believe... (1)

dan_sdot (721837) | about 10 years ago | (#9718936)

...we put a man on the moooooon...

*turns radio off*

I hate that song.

Re:Pretty amazing if you ask me... (1)

sunilonline (609351) | about 10 years ago | (#9718945)

I think the average highschool student probably does know that much. ...although they probably doesn't know who (apart from Armstrong), when, why, and how.

I personally always ignore the ... (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | about 10 years ago | (#9718892)

yellow warning lights and it's never hurt m Aaaghhhhh!!!!, I'm on FIRE! Help me!!

(Impressive how I can keep typing while on fire, isn't it? Now where was I? Oh yeah.)

Aaaghhhhh!!!!!!! Help ME!!!!

Re:I personally always ignore the ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719121)

MAYNARD: It reads, 'Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Arimathea. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the Castle of aaaaaagggh'. ARTHUR: What? MAYNARD: '...The Castle of aaaaaagggh'. BEDEVERE: What is that? MAYNARD: He must have died while carving it. LAUNCELOT: Oh, come on! MAYNARD: Well, that's what it says. ARTHUR: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to carve 'aaaaaggh'. He'd just say it! MAYNARD: Well, that's what's carved in the rock! GALAHAD: Perhaps he was dictating. ARTHUR: Oh, shut up. Well, does it say anything else? MAYNARD: No. Just 'aaaaaagggh'. LAUNCELOT: Aaaauugggh. ARTHUR: Aaaaaggh. BEDEVERE: Do you suppose he meant the Camaaaaaargue?

a matter of focus (2, Insightful)

novakane007 (154885) | about 10 years ago | (#9718915)

Kennedey was not a war president. Instead of using the military industrial complex to float the US economy, like many presidents, he used NASA. This gave the people a goal and boosted the nations pride without having to stomp on a smaller nation. If the US spent half of the military budget on NASA our world would look far different. Science and technology have shown their ability to create massive wealth and prosperity. Look at what a tech focus did for the Clinton era. Let's revive the NASA era. Afterall we only have a few billion years left before this rock is engulfed by the sun. Possibly less than one hundred years before our lust with war obliterates our home.

Re:a matter of focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719006)

Not a war president?

Oh, that's right- Vietnam was a 'police action.'

Re:a matter of focus (4, Informative)

EugeneK (50783) | about 10 years ago | (#9719039)

Kennedy was involved [gwu.edu] in helping start one of the major stompings of a smaller nation of the 20th century, known as the Vietnam War...

Re:a matter of focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719079)

I can't even tell you how much that resonates with me. Is it just me or are the greatest feats in our history backed by scientific progress? I can't believe the current US focus on wealth creation without the progression of our knowledge. How can Walmart be the biggest company in the world in terms of market cap? It contributes nothing, advances nothing except the wallets of it's shareholders.
Born and raised in the US. Ashamed of my country at times.

Re:a matter of focus (2, Informative)

BK425 (461939) | about 10 years ago | (#9719090)

That's right, he had nothing to do with the bay of pigs. And if you deny it those people who tried to assisinate Fidel so many times might show up on your doorstep. But Kennedy also had nothing to do with that ; )

Re:a matter of focus (1)

kippy (416183) | about 10 years ago | (#9719124)

If NASA got half the military budget, it would be about 12 times its current size. Shit, we could have a bustling Martian population now with that kind of support provided the proper direction. Of course, it's possible to piss all that away on go-nowhere stuff like the ISS.

With the proper direction, there should be a Martian population now. When the NASA focus was switched from the Apollo mindset to low earth orbit and shuttle thinking, it crippled NASA as an productive organization.

Re:a matter of focus (4, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | about 10 years ago | (#9719129)

The tech focus of the Clinton era led to an over-inflated economy that collapsed under its own unrealistic expectations. People blame bush for the economy tanking in 2000. It was not his fault, nor do I blame Clinton(as much as I would like to). It was similar to the time leading up to the Great Depression--wild hysteria about how much money one could make easily, followed by ruined hopes (and fortunes) when reality set in.

I will, however agree that the space program (including the much-maligned ISS) does contribute to the development of new products. However, we need to stop shouldering such a vast majority of the financial responsibility for it.

Naysayers, rise up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718920)

It's time for the ignorant, cave-dwelling group of moon landing deniers to start making their pathetically ridiculous noises.

No mention of the mistake? (4, Informative)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | about 10 years ago | (#9718932)

Wheres the mention of the most infamous mistake ever?

"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"

should of been

"One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind"

Re:No mention of the mistake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9718953)

or perhaps that less-infamous mistake:

' ought have been '

Re:No mention of the mistake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719178)

perhaps "should have been", or "ought to have been", but not "ought have been"...

an interesting view of the Apollo computer (1)

wde (781445) | about 10 years ago | (#9718940)

And here's a link to one of the better articles I've read on the AGC...

http://www.free-definition.com/Apollo-Guidance-C om puter.html

Faked? (1)

DaHat (247651) | about 10 years ago | (#9718963)

Interesting that the tin foil brigade hasn't appeared yet to claim that the entire landing was faked.

Re:Faked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719032)

Oh no? [slashdot.org]

That's because they've all been eliminated ... (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | about 10 years ago | (#9719212)

by the Illuminati and the Knights Templar, overseen by Opus Dei and the TriLateral Commission.

Of course, if you're reading this, we'll have to eliminate you too.

Probably shouldn't have posted it, then. Rather thoughtless, really. Oh, well.

Ideas for /. Poll (5, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | about 10 years ago | (#9718993)

1. How many of you wanted to become an astronaut after seeing the moon landing only to give up when you realized that :

You had to join the military

AND You had to get more degrees than a thermometer

2. How many of you think that "Apollo" is only a character on "Battlestar Gallactica"

Neil Armstrong was a civilian (1)

ToSeek (529348) | about 10 years ago | (#9719141)

Not entirely true, but mostly, since the first man to set foot on the Moon was actually one of the very few civilians in the program, as was the last, geologist Jack Schmitt.

The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth (1, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | about 10 years ago | (#9718998)

It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

Re:The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth (1)

jzarling (600712) | about 10 years ago | (#9719059)

... Is the earth flat in your world???

The Moonenites (1)

stratjakt (596332) | about 10 years ago | (#9719024)

gave Armstrong the bird, and although it was excrutiating they did it as hard as they've ever done it before.

Why it wouldn't happen today... (3, Insightful)

BTWR (540147) | about 10 years ago | (#9719053)

Here's why I'm so pissed at the Partisan situation in America.

For those of you who are non-American, let me explain: In America, we have become SO polarized that the moment a democrat says something, a republican immediately says "why it's wrong/why he's REALLY doing it for some evil purpose" - and vice versa. I guarentee you, Al Franken has already decided that whatever Bush will do in 2006 (if elected) is already wrong, EVEN BEFORE HEARING IT! Same way that republicans ALWAYS said clinton was wrong (When Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998, Republicans said it was only to distract us from Monica). And yes, Rush already agrees with whatever Bush agrees with and hates Hilary Clinton's Senate bills even before they're presented. This goes both ways.

Today, had president X said that we have to unite as a nation and go to Mars by 2016, the other side would immediately say "It's stupid/useless/waste of money/just a distraction from (problem Y)."

Was Kennedy's space-race politically motivated? Yeah. Is it a good thing it happened? From my point of view... definately. Science doesn't know politics. Martian soil doesn't really care about WMDs or Gay Marriage. I hope that the next leader to make such a bold statement is met with some sort of unity, and not bickering. (But it won't).

As Chris Rock said in his latest comedy special about partisan politics: "Anyone who decides on an issue... before hearing the issue... is abolutely f*@&ing crazy!"

Re:Why it wouldn't happen today... (2, Insightful)

AnyLoveIsGoodLove (194208) | about 10 years ago | (#9719156)

Only one crazy line stood out: "Science doesn't know politics"

Hmmm.. Have you ever worked in the beltway at organizations like CDC, HHS, NIH? Remember scientist need money to do R&D, where does money come from: budgets. Regardless if you are public or private, the budget cycle is the most politizied process. Remember a common definition of politics is who gets what when and where.

You're dead on about the division in America. We're exactly 50 / 50 between the sides. I actually think it is a good thing, but that is another post.

Re:Why it wouldn't happen today... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about 10 years ago | (#9719232)

Those of us who aren't American don't know who Al Franken is. From context, I presume a Democrat?

Good book for geeks on Apollo 11 (3, Interesting)

dmadole (528015) | about 10 years ago | (#9719055)

When I was eight or nine years old a neighbor gave me a copy of The Invasion of the Moon 1969 by Peter Ryan. I've read it at least a dozen times since then.

It's a paperback, mostly consisting of transcripts of the communications between Mission Control and the Apollo 11 mission, with commentary and explanation interspersed.

Sadly, the book is long out of print, but you can find used copies through the usual sources. I bought one a couple years ago for a friend who read mine and liked it.

Armstrong & von Braun were my heros (1)

G4from128k (686170) | about 10 years ago | (#9719056)

I was 8 when they landed on the Moon. I remember having an Apollo 11 poster, a nice commemorative book from the local Gulf Oil gas station, a nice leather-bound book on the history of scape flight, and more space books than I can count. Looking up at the moon and thinking that people were there made a huge impression on me because I have always wanted to visit any visible, yet distant, location. My parents even used my fascination with space to encourage me to do better in school.

It's too bad that we don't have such noble and exciting frontiers these days. I now wonder if increasing energy costs and environment/safety concerns have pushed humanity over the hill into the caution that afflicts the middle-aged.

Re:Armstrong & von Braun were my heros (1)

ROOK*CA (703602) | about 10 years ago | (#9719144)

It's too bad that we don't have such noble and exciting frontiers these days

Hey we got the Cassini Mission, very exciting (IMHO) indeed. Granted it's not a manned mission but you have to admit that mission goals are both ambitious and unique (and just wait until Hugyens lands on Titan !).

Evidence that the moon landing was fake. (1)

gpinzone (531794) | about 10 years ago | (#9719065)

If the moon landing was real, how come they didn't find these guys? [80stees.com]

Lunar Surface Journal (4, Informative)

Mean_Nishka (543399) | about 10 years ago | (#9719158)

Although the article above links to a portion of this site, the full Lunar Surface Journal [nasa.gov] offers an incredibly detailed look at the Apollo program, including audio, video, and high resolution images from the missions. Be warned, you will spend hours there :).

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719164)

Its been that long? (3, Funny)

bdigit (132070) | about 10 years ago | (#9719179)

Since Tom Hanks was up in space? I must say Tom is a great astronaut and a hero to all of us for his efforts in outterspace.

413 is in.. (4, Interesting)

cOdEgUru (181536) | about 10 years ago | (#9719191)

....
Drifting forward just a little.
That's good.
Contact light.
Shut down.
Okay. Engine stop.
ACA out of detent.
Out of detent. Auto.
Mode control, both auto. Descent engine command override off. Engine arm off. 413 is in.
We copy you down eagle.
Engine arm is of. Houston, Tranquility base here. The eagle has landed.
Roger Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we're breathing again, thank you. .................

I wasnt born then. Still there is a lump in my throat when I read those words. I wish I am alive when we hear something along these lines when we touch down on the Red Planet..or even farther..

Wish for a moment, we could stop all this crap going around and remember those brave souls who perished in our urge to leap higher and honor their souls by setting higher goals and achieve them.

Celebration at the Air & Space museum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719198)

NASA employees have been invited to a celebration at the Air & Space museum. I'm trying to get one of our attractive interns to go with me.

Think about it, a night at the Air and Space museum with fellow NASA geeks, an attractive female, and Buzz Aldrin!

This will be the best night of my life! :)

Where were you on July 20th 1969? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9719205)

I have an old Boeing tee shirt I wear that asks that simple question on the front. In the six plus years or so I have been wearing it on a regular basis, I'd say that 95% of people that whole time didn't even know what the significance of the date represented. No kidding. When I'd wear it to work, I'd regularly get, "Wasn't born yet...," or usually just a quizical look in response to the reading the question across my chest.

I clearly remember watching the famous walk on the 20th, but as an 8 year old thoroughly enjoying his summer vacation, I was also really into the whole space thing and got up early to watch the launch and watched all the news updates on TV. 1969 was a really nice summer. =)

sad stop on NASA space center tour (4, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | about 10 years ago | (#9719207)

A major stop on NASA's space center tour is the moonwalking shrine.The tour leader beams with pride, but I am saddened by NASA's lack of progress in manned space exploration the past 35 years. Its a dusty old museum of past glories.

Bad comparison... (1)

dignome (788664) | about 10 years ago | (#9719235)


"You also have to remember that, long before Bill Gates, we had developed a real-time multi-tasking operating system."

Sad isn't it... (5, Insightful)

jzarling (600712) | about 10 years ago | (#9719244)

In the 60s we looked ahead, learned from failure, tried again and landed on the moon.

Now when we fail, we look back, assign blame, postpone, assign blame, and postpone some more.

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