Wednesday, July 17, 2019

OT: 50th Anniversary of Landing on the Moon


No way! We landed on the moon!

50 years ago (July 21, 1969) was the first time man set foot on a celestial body outside our own. When they landed, they didn’t know if the lunar module would sink precariously into the dust, off axis or worse, and be unable to return the explorers that risked their lives to push the boundaries as we knew them. They didn’t know if pressure from the decent engine would build up and cause the engine itself to explode. There were many things they didn’t know, many more than we actually did. But one thing they did know was that this moment was as significant as any man had ever witnessed. From JFK: “But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun--almost as hot as it is here today--and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out--then we must be bold.” They did this all with about as much computing power as your cell phone. And they accomplished that feat. They harnessed and controlled an explosion that thrust us to where no one had gone before.

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