It was a time countries fought over technological superiority in between minor conflicts. The 1960’s certainly its own bracket of time, its own issues. The US and Russia kept proving they could pee the furtherest.
They kept putting things and living experiments (*cough* people) into space, – not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too. – (excerpt of an excerpt) John F Kennedy, 1962.
That speech, I am sure was written to get Americans to lift their beer and yell “F’ yeah we’re going to the moon before those damn Russians.” (not really, just guessing, paraphrasing what might have been said at the time.)
For the longest time, I thought there is no way we could get to the moon with a woven computer circuit, my (at the time of thinking this) brand new Nokia 8210 having more processing power and memory than the Apollo 11 craft. The radiation would have killed them, the photos were modified/faked, they wore suits with weather balloons attached by Hollywood wire to simulate the moons gravity, etcetera etcetera.
Now, I’m 90% sure those men and women at NASA put those 24 crazy test pilots on the moon without the protections and safety of today. Twenty-four people have kicked dirt around on another planet (*cough* moon).
Why haven’t lunatics gone back since the 70’s?
The story goes something like this; the person who built that part for that thing from the blueprint always built that part throughout the time and space of the space programs. They built blueprint thing (version 1.0) , but then built a version 1.1 next time because it worked better, or fitted better with the 1.1 the next person built (as it moved down the line). From what I have read, these changes were only in their heads and scrap notes, never officially blueprinted. We’re still working on recapturing that tech.
They went through the Saturn I , Saturn IB then the Saturn V, plus the Mercury and Gemini flights before that, testing all that hardware for years.
There is also another reason – Nanny state. I’m sure there are enough hands raised around the world to go there again, just look at the list of people wanting to go to Mars.
From the time Yuri Gagarin floated around the planet on a very long free-fall, it took 7 years and 8 months before Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders took the scenic route home one afternoon, orbiting the moon. Then only 7 months after, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin decided to go camping 20th July 1969. Michael Collins stayed in the car keeping the engine running. (No disrespect meant for any of these brave men.)
This year, this month is the 50th anniversary of that landing, whether you think it’s real or not.
Tomorrow (July 20th) is also my parents 50th anniversary, or it should be. My best Dad in the world passed away reaching only to 68, September last year, two days after Fathers day. He is missed by a lot of people, and will always be loved by his family.