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Today, 1962 February 20, 2012

Posted by bobv451 in history, science, space.
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Fifty years ago, America sneaked into space. John Glenn actually orbited the Earth. Hard to believe space tourism will duplicate what the prior two Americans did, at least as far as “going into space” altitudes. (I am discounting Ham’s flight, too. Ham is buried at the west end of the parking lot at the Alamogordo Space Museum. At least he didn’t die in orbit as did Laika back in ’57) We are lucky to still have an original Mercury astronaut around. The first man in orbit died in a Mig15 crash back in ’68, while we elected ours to the Senate to insure his mummification.

One of the major head scatchers of the 20th Century has to be the sudden decline of our space program. We reached the Moon, that was it (I can blame Nixon but Vietnam was also a big part of it). I find it hard to believe vision is missing, but it seems to be so. If I remember the story, one of the dogs the Russians sent into space was recovered, had pups and one was given to JFK. Wonder if there are offspring? And why does Eric Frank Russell’s story “Into Your Tent I’ll Creep” come to mind?

Congratulations to all who have gone into space. May another, albeit far future, generation join you in this achievement.

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1. Stephen Smoogen - February 20, 2012

Now that I have had a week to stew on it.. I am going to backtrack on the NASA having vision. NASA at the ground level has quite a bit of vision, but its upper layers have been appointed and selected by some Machiavellian evolutionary algorithm to be toadies and make sure that vision stays out of sight.

I really wish it were easier to put stuff in orbit.. but between the lawyers wanting to make sure they can make a dollar off of any dime of damages.. and the politicians scaring up votes by showing how unscientific they can be.. it is a dark day.


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