Whitey on the moon

 
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27 July 2019 16:59
 

Not everyone thought putting a man on the moon was a good idea:  https://youtu.be/goh2x_G0ct4

I found, then lost, a good story about JFK’s desire to put men on the moon, but what struck me most about it was one of NASA’s objections to doing it - most of what men can do can be done by machines for much less money.  It turned out that vanity and pride mostly put men on the moon. 

The story also mentioned that the Soviets tried to photobomb the Americans by putting a probe in orbit around the moon to greet the Americans when they got there.  Apparently the probe arrived two days ahead of the Americans, then crashed on the surface after doing a flyby past the Americans.

 
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27 July 2019 18:35
 

The entire Apollo program cost ~150 Billion (2018 adjusted dollars. 25.5 B at the time)
The US Defense budget in 2018 was ~650 Billion dollars.

While it is a bunch of money in every-day-joe/jane terms, it was spent over ~12 years, so the annual expenditure was ~12 B per year in 2018 adjusted dollars.
A drop in an enormous bucket of money. 
And there were many valuable learnings gained from the program that are used in ordinary life even now.
Who doesn’t like Tang?  wink

I get why people think we should help our poor and needy before spending on things like this, but really, reigning back on $50,000 toilets in the pentagon might be a better priority choice.

 
 
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27 July 2019 22:35
 

I agree there were many innovations which also had/have everyday applications, and yes, the budget to go there was small in comparison, and “because it’s there” is an honest justification.  I just wanted to share another perspective and have no intention of diminishing the achievement.

I have no opinion whether or not the moon landing should have been done.

 
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27 July 2019 22:55
 

I think it was absolutely worth the cost, in financial terms, to put living men on the moon.

If an automated space probe had landed on the moon instead of human beings, what would that have been like?

As an example, think of the Mars probes; both the functioning ones still operating on the surface and the ones that have mechanically died.

How many people know the names of these probes, where they landed, how long they lasted, what they did or what images they sent back to earth?

I would bet the number would be comparatively small.

But look at the moon landing whose 50th anniversary just passed. Billions of people know the name, Neil Armstrong. Billions have seen the famous photos “Earth rise” and “Blue Marble.” Billions know Armstrong’s famous quote as he stepped onto the lunar surface.

A mechanical space probe would never have been able to look towards the earth, to instantly become entranced and thrilled by the sight, to pick up a camera and take a picture. A mechanical space probe would never have thought up a poetic quote when it landed on the moon. This is because a mechanical space probe is “soulless,” without consciousness, without wonder and awe, without feeling. Only living, breathing humans could add this dimension to the entire enterprise.

In addition, the Apollo astronauts had the rare opportunity to see the earth as it is — a small, incredibly beautiful, incredibly fragile, tiny rock filled with life, floating in the nearly infinite black void of space. These living men, expanded the experiential envelope of humanity to include experiencing the earth from another world.

Fucking A, it was worth it!

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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27 July 2019 23:14
 

Some say the money should have fed the poor. It did. Apollo 11 was a nourishing feast for everyone.

 
 
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28 July 2019 00:01
 
Nhoj Morley - 27 July 2019 11:14 PM

Some say the money should have fed the poor. It did. Apollo 11 was a nourishing feast for everyone.

I would feel better about the landing and feeding the poor if money was not being spent on the war in Vietnam.

 
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28 July 2019 11:00
 

The moon shot was enabled by base political motivations, war-mongering for profit and harvested the talents of a natzi slave-master. It was not driven by any of those things. Young lads were reading space adventures under the sheets with a flashlight. A high-spirited ambition managed to bubble its way up through the muck and ride the shameful political currents. The mission left the shame and muck and other useless weight behind to save on fuel. It was a win for all who aspired to a less mythological world. Science was vindicated and its abrasive and uppity role on the world stage continues to grow.

If those dollars had not gone to the moon, would they have fed the poor or been dropped on Vietnam?

 
 
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28 July 2019 12:13
 

Totally worth it.  Armstrong nailed it with his giant leap comment. As a species, we rely on such leaps. Otherwise, what good are we?

 
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28 July 2019 13:16
 
EN - 28 July 2019 12:13 PM

Totally worth it.  Armstrong nailed it with his giant leap comment. As a species, we rely on such leaps. Otherwise, what good are we?

It’s a shame he fucked it up, though. No where else in history was word memory more relevant in my opinion.


 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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29 July 2019 12:11
 

A visual analysis of the audio waveform suggests that there may be a signal drop-out obscuring the “a” before “man”. Neil swears he got it right.

One step

[ Edited: 29 July 2019 12:15 by Nhoj Morley]
 
 
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29 July 2019 14:16
 
Nhoj Morley - 29 July 2019 12:11 PM

A visual analysis of the audio waveform suggests that there may be a signal drop-out obscuring the “a” before “man”. Neil swears he got it right.

One step

Don’t get me wrong—it’s a nice narrative, at least.