Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Fifty (50) years ago today, the first words were spoken by a human being on the moon (technically, in a vehicle on the moon’s surface).  The two astronauts were completing their landing maneuver checklist before speaking to Earth:
Buzz Adrin: Contact Light.
Neil Armstrong: Shutdown
Buzz Adrin: Okay.  Engine Stop.
Buzz Adrin: ACA out of Detent.
Neil Armstrong: Out of Detent.  Auto.
Buzz Adrin: Mode Control, both Auto.  Descent Engine Command Override, Off.  Engine Arm, Off.  413 is in.
Charles Duke (at Mission Control in Houston): We copy you down, Eagle.
Neil Armstrong: Engine arm is off.  Houston, Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed.
Source: Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal, NASA
First word spoken on the moon: “Contact
First person to speak on the moon: “Buzz Aldrin”
First word spoken on the moon directed towards Earth: “Houston“.
First person on the moon to say a word directed at Earth: “Neil Armstrong”
First word spoken by someone on Earth to someone on the moon:  “We
First person on Earth to speak to someone on the moon: “Charles Duke”
Date of first manned landing on the moon: 20 July 1969
Date of first human stepping on the moon surface: 21 July 1969
On This Day In:
2018 History Judges Incompetent Presidencies, Too
2017 Our Confident New President
2016 Ways
2015 Be Happy, Too
2014 At Least Smile
2013 Comfortably Bound
2012 Certainty
Thinking About Fathers
2011 And In Every Level Of Media

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Book Review:
Today I finished my second book by Richard P. Feynman.  This one is titled: “What Do You Care What Other People Think?”  Again, Dr. Feynman was one of the men who worked on the Manhattan Project.  Feynman’s doctorate is in Physics and he won a Nobel Prize for physics.  This was both a terribly sad and immensely amusing book.  The sad portion dealt with his growing up and the early death of his high school sweet-heart and first wife.  I freely admit to being a big crybaby and her passing and his emotional detachment (temporary) made me break down too.  The majority of the book deals with his work on the Challenger Space Shuttle commission.  There appears to be a fair amount of criticism placed on NASA’s management (which I recall from the time – 1986), but I don’t recall anyone losing their jobs because of the fallout.  The impression of NASA management in the book still rings true about many of the problems we face generally in government and in large businesses today: either management knew of the risks (and they should have) but chose to minimize (i.e. disregard) them and launch anyway; or they knew the risks and lied to the commission about not knowing the risks; or management didn’t know the risks (in which case they were incompetent).
The “amusing” parts of the book are little bits in each chapter which are sometimes self-deprecating, but mostly the observations of a man standing outside a system and watching it act irrationally.  Feynman is kind of a cross between Mark Twain and Will Rogers, but with a PhD in Physics.
This is a very fast read and I highly recommend it – for the emotion, the humor and for the science.
Movie Review:
On Monday night, the Giants had the day off for travel so we decided to watch a movie.  Last week, something reminded me of “Driving Miss Daisy“, so I asked Hil if she wanted to watch it.  As it’s one of her favorite movies, I was confident she’d say yes.  To tell the truth, I’ve only seen the movie twice before in its entirety, so I was able to look at it with “fresh” eyes.  Most of it I did not remember at all.  It is a terrific movie!!  Heartwarming and funny, sad and a bit cautionary all rolled into one.  I can see why it won Best Picture that year (1989).
The main storyline is about a wealthy Jewish lady and the twenty five year relationship (friendship) she has with her African-American chauffeur.  Jessica Tandy is the lead and she won Best Actress for the role.  Morgan Freeman plays the chauffeur (Golden Globe Award but not Oscar – he was robbed) and Dan Aykroyd plays the son of Miss Daisy and who is the actual employer of the chauffeur.  Well written, well acted, funny, touching – just a beautiful movie.  Highly recommended!  If you haven’t watched it lately, treat yourself and see it again.

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