Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 16, 1967

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On this day in 1967 at 8:32AM EST (GMT -5) Apollo 11 was lauched from Pad A at Kennedy Space Center. This launch was especially important as it heralded in the era of extra planetary body exploration, leading the way for the many later Apollo missions, the Viking missions to Mars and of course the Voyager I and II missions through which we've collected an incredible body of information about our Solar System.

Following those missions, a few nations from our milk and honey planet (meaning great abundance) have launched a variety of exploratory missions, each drawing from the era of space exploration that was heralded in by the United States and the USSR, and many other contributing countries who provided expertise, like Canada's own Jim Chamberlin and Owen Maynard and Britain's own John Hodge and Keith Wright (whom apparently tricked Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into placing a solar panel upon the Moon upon which he'd drawn a Union Jack flag) and resources. Exploration has never quite been the same since the final Apollo mission, Apollo 17 (December 7-19, 1972).

The power of remote exploration (which includes Hubble, Chandra and many other orbital observatories) has certainly been justified and will likely lead to the commercial and private exploitation of the Solar System's resources through various near orbit lunar and asteroidal bodies but the spirit of humanity relies upon treading the soil of new lands with our own feet and touching that soil with our own hands. Even if separated from those elements by a protective suit. That statement is certainly not directed at taking away the accomplishment for successful Moon landings (or "high velocity interceptions") by the USSR (and its offspring, The Russian Federation), Japan, India, ESAChina and Israel. These nations and conglomerates of nations, each and all are pioneers and have achieved the ultimate and expanding goal of the spirit of exploration within us, every one. Remote missions are what make possible eventual human exploration. Apollo relied upon remote missions and so will the upcoming Moon and Mars missions.

This has been the case for the entirety of our existence and is a testament to our proliferation, success and failures upon this planet. It is a chance for us to make right the wrongs we've committed in the name of expansion and to learn new lessons which will ultimately find expression in our descendents who will once again have their own triumphs and (hopefully) fewer tragedies.

The importance of the Apollo missions can never be understated for they underline the need for humanity to keep humanity in exploration but not before much ground work has been laid by remote exploration. Even the Apollo missions were preceded by numerous remote missions and even some high velocity interceptions of the Moon for the sake of planning and evaluating the potential for a Moon landing.

This is a an important day. For it is the day that three human beings sat atop a tower of explosive fuel, and in a controlled explosion were propelled beyond the Earth's atmosphere, beyond the Van Allen belt and towards the Moon atop some high tech steel, silicone and other semiconductors such as gallium arsenide, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen fuel.

I don't know how many people truly appreciate that accomplishment. That's a pretty big investment and sense of trust in the other members of your planet. To ride an exploding giant matchbook (or zippo lighter if you prefer) into the stars.

Me, Brian Joseph Johns.
Yes, I have other interests
besides griping injustices. ;-)
The next time that you watch fireworks, stop and think that those Astronauts of the USA, USSR, ESA, Japan, India, China, Canada, Israel, Tesla and Virgin space programs were and are basically sitting atop giant fireworks. Has every batch of your fireworks worked 100% for you every single time?

Think about that when you imagine the risk that everyone who has taken it for the purpose of space exploration gets into a launch vehicle. They're really the ones that are taking all of the risks which allow us to broaden our future horizons and possibly save life on this milk and honey planet. That kind of courage takes the Right Stuff.

By the way, if you're in Toronto or have access to Cineplex Odeon on August 11, 2019 at 12PM EST, you might want to consider seeing the move The Right Stuff at a movie theatre. It will never be close to seeing a live rocket launch, but its pretty darn close.

Its late but I have to thank a few people. Guitarist Professor Brian May of Queen (Physics Professor). David Braben (another damned physicist, all thanks to that cellular mitosis crap). Amy Shira Teitel who should enlist herself as the program director at any Space Agency that wouldn't be foolish enough to deny her such a space.

Brian Joseph Johns

200 Sherbourne Street #701
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 3Z5



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