The summer of 1969 was special in many way, not least of which was the 1969 moon landing on July 20, 1969. Read about it below and see photos and a video.
In many ways the summer of 1969 was the most magical in my life. It changed my life, or rather formed the foundation for all that I am. It had nothing to do with sex, drugs, or rock and roll. It wasn’t about Woodstock, even though my parents and grandparents were actually in said town antiquing the weekend there-of. It was about scientific and engineering feats that captured our imagination. As a nation we held our heads high. My girlish fancies were captured by a ‘fairy tale’ young prince who was finally allowed to meet his public in pomp and ceremony that set many young hearts aflutter.
1969 was topped by the most remarkable march to a World Series victory that still is synonymous with the world “miracle�?.
Have you ever noticed how “trios�? of names dance in our heads. Larry, Moe, Curley; Grucho, Harpo, Chico; Tinkers to Evers to Chance; Huey, Dewey and Louie; Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Pompeius Magnus then they were followed by Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Marcus Antonius.
Until the death of the Great Luciano the cultural world waxed poetic about the Three Tenors. You may not know who Patty, LaVerne and Mazene were were, but my father sure does. (Look up their music, they were icons).
Why don’t we think of them as the Four Musketeers?
There were Three Wise Men.
Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
Or what about Peter, James and John?
How about Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan?
Little kids start out with the Three Little Pigs. If they are fortunate someone reads the poem featuring Wynken, Blynken and Nod. They learn the nursery rhyme of Three Blind Mice. They know about the Three Little Kittens. Then they start watching television and can tell you who Jan, Marsha and Cindy are. They learn about Alvin, Simon and Theodore. If they have any depth they know who the father of Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe is. If they are truly educated they learn the difference between Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
Television, history, and culture aside, none of these have reached the status of three intrepid explorers who’s very names bring with them awe and the very definition of heroism: Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins.
On July 16, 1969 the powerful Saturn V launch vehicle slipped the bounds of earth and sailed into the sky.
Four days later on July 20, 1969 the small vehicle composed of the Columbia and the Eagle orbited the Moon. A few hours alter they separated and the Eagle landed on the surface of another world.
Were those our greatest moments as a nation and as a species? I truly hope not. The one federal program most important to the survival of our species is NASA. Because of my dedication to space and our future, I fear Barack Obama’s election. Like every other topic, Obama has bounced back and forth like a sugared up four year old. The most concrete thing I can find about his lack of dedication to our future in space comes from Space Politics:
“…Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama released today the education plan he would enact if elected. The full 15-page plan includes a variety of proposals, including reforming early education programs. The last section of the plan, titled “A Commitment to Fiscal Responsibility�? explains how he would pay for these initiatives. The passage of relevance here: “The early education plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years,�? among other steps. According to MSNBC, Obama would leave in place $500 million/year for Constellation’s “manufacturing and technology base�?, but would otherwise transfer the funding to the education effort. None of the campaign’s official statements or other media reports indicate any alternative measures the campaign would take to address what, on its face, would appear to be a five-year delay in the introduction of Ares 1, Orion, and the other main components of NASA’s current exploration architecture….�?
Our future is in space.
Let’s put the matter of space exploration aside for a moment. By delaying the deployment of a new generation launch vehicle Barack Obama is literally damning the United States to a second class status in technology.
How do we service our satellites?
How do we link with the space station?
How do we deploy certain satellites?
What if some unforeseen emergency arises, how do we handle it?
In other words, those magical moments of “The Eagle has landed�? are gone forever. We lose our technological edge to China, Japan, Russia, and Europe as Barack Obama plans to invest more in an educational system that is broken beyond repair.
1969 Moon Landing – video