back to article Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON

45 years ago today - that is, July 20th - the human race left its first bootprint on a body other than the Earth we'd been treading for the last few million years, as Neil Armstrong stepped off the Eagle lunar module's ladder and onto the dusty regolith of the Moon. "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind …

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Complete non-news

It's sad that this and a story on the BBC are the only two I've seen about this here in America.

It's not in the local paper here in Orlando, 90 miles from Kennedy Space Center, nor is it on CNN or Fox.

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Re: Complete non-news

Well, like, duh - it happened in the past so it's not going to be on, like, the news - is it ?

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Re: Complete non-news

Erm, dude, I was gone from 2005 to 2010 from the US and a bit preoccupied with some war thing and rather strong men trying to kill me and my teams.

But, I recall seeing more than a few stories on just this subject, both before I deployed and since I returned.

So, I'll suggest that either you failed to pay attention due to life events or you choose a better news outlet for your information.

I tend to use CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC for general information. I have a handful of special interests that also include other foreign news sources, but they're outside of this context.

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Re: Complete non-news

>CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC

Aren't at least two of those officially terrorist sources under recent US administrations?

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Re: Complete non-news

Giving the news channels the benefit of the doubt...

Since when has 45 been a significant anniversary?

Give it 5 more years and there will no doubt be a bit more of a knees up... as well as embarrassed looks about wtf has happened in the last 50 years.

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@Wzrd1

YAAC was merely pointing out that 'news' is so called because it is the plural of 'new'. Something that happened 45 years ago without current relevance has no place on a 'news' show.

Wait for the half-century anniversary. The news outlets will be pulling out all the stops due to the fact that we have 10 digits on our hands, and landing on the moon was the coolest fucking thing a man (or mankind) has ever done.

BTW, thanks for playing your part in making Iraq and Afghanistan safer places for everyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Complete non-news

For some people it might be.

It was also the day I left school. Both events were to me a joy. One to see Men walk on the Moon and the second to get out of a place where there was no hope for anyone with even half a brain.

roll on retirement.

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Re: Complete non-news

">CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC

Aren't at least two of those officially terrorist sources under recent US administrations?"

Okay, I'll ask, which two?

And why?

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Re: Complete non-news

LOL I guess that bible thumper encountered some Buzz kill.

Will you please swaare on tha bahbul you landed on the moon.

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Not Complete non-news

Since when do we celebrate 45 years of/since something?

Usual periods for celebration.commemoration are 50 years and each century after the event.

With a special exception of 10 year intervals for marriage.

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Re: Not Complete non-news

I believe you're right. So the question is, why is this trying to be news? Is NASA behind it? Someone, somewhere maybe believes we need to push the public awareness button to get funding in a few years? There's more to this anniversary than meets the eye.

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Re: Not Complete non-news

Well, when I was in my teens, I recall some newsworthy event in 1976. Some bicentenial thing about colonists being revolting or something.

I also recall 52 birthday celebrations, OK, 51. Can't recall my first birthday, my earliest memories are from when I was around 18 months old.

Then, there was that Edison anniversary.

Various and sundry other celebrations on technology and I'll not even go into our national worship of things warfare.

The latter being somewhat special to me, as I'm a retired veteran, but really don't find warfare worthy of celebrating, only its end.

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Re: Not Complete non-news

"Since when do we celebrate 45 years of/since something?"

It's possibly the greatest achievement in history. Pretty much every time I see a full moon I think of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f_DPrSEOEo should be every day.

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Re: Not Complete non-news

IIRC there was some kind of campaign (supported by Buzz) that had something to do with a #Apollo45 hashtag on Twitter to "raise awareness" or somesuch. See http://buzzaldrin.com/apollo45/

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Re: Not Complete non-news

Perhaps they [the "they" who cause us to need to wear tin-foil hats] have calculated that public pressure can be generated in sufficient quantity within a sufficiently short period to allow for a massive celebration in only five years?

Or that if we don't respond well now there is no point to putting on much effort in 2019.

Market research or priming the pump.

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Chinese chest puffing?

Seems more like wang waving.

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Re: Chinese chest puffing?

That is just wong.

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Re: Chinese chest puffing?

Actually, I'd give *real* money to see it happen.

It'd jog the US off of its "successful" ass of mediocracy and into innovation again.

For, now, we're awaiting the barbarians at the gates to rescue us.

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Unhappy

sign of times ?

a culture obsessed with bad news, addicted to FUD and consoled with anodynes of pop "culture". Real achievement almost ignored. Just as previous nations made their big achievements, then faded rapidly, were the moon landings the high tide of the USA ?

Automation is the sensible thing to do, but not as exciting. Settling the New World was also dangerous, risky and mostly not cost effective for generations. Still it captured imaginations which very little does now. New bling that rings just is not the same as a Saturn V thundering skywards with 3 men in a can.

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Re: sign of times ?

By your standard, Columbus would've been better served with a bottle and a letter.

Still, the US is a faded giant, lacking an enemy that offers more challenging interests.

The US *only* went to the moon because the Russians put a rover there that did *extremely* well. Facing some nonsensical lunar base military force that did not exist, paranoia forced the US to put men into an aluminum can about as stern as a beer can and shoot them at the moon.

Then trumpet it a bunch of times until the populace found a trip to the next town more interesting, as they didn't comprehend the danger of the lunar excusursion.

In short, it was all cold war bravado.

Something I tired of after losing a few friends in various events that "never happened".

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Re: sign of times ?

"The US *only* went to the moon because the Russians put a rover there that did *extremely* well."

WTF? is it *that* hard to check facts before posting here? Lunokhod 1 landed in November 1970.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_the_Moon#Timeline_of_Moon_exploration

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Anonymous Coward

Well written. New stuff I didn't know. Thanks.

Oh, and you numbnuts who whinge through your snotty self-important schnozzollae, "This isn't news": well, hey, did you know all the details in the article?

Thought not.

Read and learn, asshats.

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Well, shove your asshat northward.

I long knew this and more.

I watched the lunar landing live.

I remember Apollo 13 as clearly as I recall JFK being shot in the head, both of which I watched live.

I also watched the US decline as the USSR declined, then work hard toward achieiving third world status.

Something I *never* enlisted to achieve.

So, sod off, sonny.

Lest I become far less polite.

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Amen. I remember those and also reading all the documents NASA and other unofficial sources put out including the "communion" before Armstrong stepped out. It's a fantastic achievement that couldn't happen today as we have tighter rules on these things for safety, but they pushed the envelope.

I'm still curious why the sudden interest in an "off-year".

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Mankinds CV

One of our best achievements, barely celebrated.

Now, back to Baby George and his first birthday....a future king you know?

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Where did it all go wrong?

As an excited child who watched the moon landings I have to ask this question.

Perhaps this points the way "there's not a lot of support for spending a few billion dollars on the project when we could be having foreign wars or banking bailouts instead"

Before the downvoters pile in, a reference: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-billion-dollar-gram/

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Re: Where did it all go wrong?

It was all a gambit in the Cold War.

We got there first. Things cooled in space, didn't cool Earthside.

Reagan came along and his advisors dreamed up Star Wars. Not as a national defense, but as a money drain on the Soviet economy reflecting our efforts.

It worked.

Then, Bush the Elder found we needed a service economy. In an economy gearded toward the Reagan professional.

The rest is attempting to achieve third world status.

For, the well educated populace is impossible to control. The ill educated populace, triviial to control.

As for paranoia, I learned about OBL back in 1982.

Do you *still* want to play and attract *more* NSA attention?

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Re: Where did it all go wrong?

"Do you *still* want to play and attract *more* NSA attention?"

Well, I was a mind-control agent back in the 60's, you don't think we fed the troops all those drugs for nothing did you?

I still have control over a few of them today, but their brains are a bit addled now so all they can do is give political speeches about how great we are and act as mules funnels for corporate sponshorship.

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Beg to differ...

"The big advantage private operators like Musk have is that they can take a more relaxed view of human life."

No, the big advantage private operators have is that they're free to build systems from the ground up with operational efficiency in mind. They have no Congress forcing them to buy from cost-plus military contractors, no legacy multi-thousand-person facilities like the Johnson Space Center, no tradition of gold-plated but cost-inefficient design. IIRC, the Dragon's total control center staff is less than a dozen people. If NASA were running commercial air travel, it would still be available only to billionaires and wouldn't yet have made it across the Atlantic or Pacific.

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Re: Beg to differ...

ITIRC the odds of success just before launch was 50/50. NASA expected one in 6 Saturn Vs to go bang. That none did suggests they built better than they knew. The skin of the LM was the thickness of a soft drink can or thinner. Busting it was possible. Bloke I admire most was the Apollo13 systems guy who did 3 days computation overnight to get return orbit parameters out for damaged Apollo.

The days of risk taking are over for western humans. Unless its bailing out waster bankers. Private sector just as constrained as NASA due to more pervasive safety laws. OTOH, Monda is right. No legacy job creation schemes and a cost effective focus on goal mean Musk et al have a good channce of selling LEO lifts. What profit is there going to Mars ? See Nivens short story "I'm in a Hole" about an asteroid miner caught in the gravity well of Mars. Selling transport for research probes for sure. For raw materials, not a hope. Better to explore the various Trojans and metallic asteroids methinks.

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It wasn't just the mission that wouldn't happen today

I read a fascinating article about the work going on behind the scenes. The engineers officially worked 10 hours a day 6 days a week more or less from when Kennedy announced the plan, but for long periods they did an extraordinary amount of off the record overtime too and many had health problems come up from overwork.

The attitude of needing to beat the Soviets and the work ethic it embued just doesn't feel like something you'd see in the western world today.

On the flipside, because this was a big bang project (get men on the moon from scratch in whatever way possible) rather than an iterative process of incremental space advances a lot of the work was of very little practical use for anything except getting men on the moon. The downside of intense political competition is that it made the space race much more of a 'bridge to nowhere' project and meant that when public boredom and budget apathy set in the practical return on a huge investment was much less than it could have been.

If things are done more gradually but in a way that leads to real advances in space technology then that's much preferable to China and the US stirring up another 'we must get men on the moon now so they can bounce about a bit and wave' race.

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Thanks to the men and women of NASA, et al.

You inspired a 7 year old boy to dream and to get excited about science.

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Re: Thanks to the men and women of NASA, et al.

Good comment,

Me too, I was 11 at the time & having since seen the lunar modules at Kennedy Space Centre made me realise what an amazing achievement it all was. Have a pint.

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Re: Thanks to the men and women of NASA, et al.

I am just about as old as "The Space Age", just a bit more so. I'm as old as a BBC astronomy programme called "Sky At Night", I was born just days after its first broadcast.

I was amazed, thrilled and totally captivated by Apollo 11, so much so that I had fixed an old, dead TV just so I could watch it in private. No other member of my family cared. They still don't.

I did realise even then that the speech from Apollo 8 from some tiny, trivial, temporary cult's allegedly sacred texts was a foretelling of the imminent death of manned offworld travel, but A-11 gave some hope that I might have been wrong.

I wasn't.

Manned space flight is over. The Dream Of Stars is dead. We may orbit a few more times, the ISS will run for a while and we'll chuck up a couple more robots but essentially humans are never going to look up again.

The Dream is over.

Apollo did have one lasting effect on the real world: I found out that capacitors in TVs can actually explode and that when they do they produce a mountain of fluffy bits of something. I really should have never used that box until I was *sure* I knew what I was doing.

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Re: Thanks to the men and women of NASA, et al.

"Me too, I was 11 at the time & having since seen the lunar modules at Kennedy Space Centre made me realise what an amazing achievement it all was. Have a pint."

I was fortunate enough to be able to crawl inside one of the used command modules from Apollo. We were both in Glasgow's Museum of Transport and it was part of a special exhibition. I was severely told off by the elderly security guard when I spent a beautiful, memorable few minutes in one of the empty seats beside a fully-suited dummy.

I would have given my nuts, left hand and right kidney to be able to fly in one for real.

But by that time no one was flying anything.

Then the Shuttle came and went. And again no one is flying anything.

By the time anything ever does fly again, if ever, which I doubt will happen, I'll be both too old and far too dead to be taken out in it.

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Go Buzz!

I was heartened to see Buzz Aldrin, old as he was, take on that noxious weed. I remember quite well seeing one of the Apollos in descent from the Pacific night in the late sixties or early seventies, a meteor in flight, only much bigger. I wouldn't mind walking on Mars ...

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Message Garbled ...

... what he actually* said was "Good luck, Mr Gorsky".

* FSVO actually

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I was only 5

I made child sized space ships from cardboard boxes, and sat in them counting down to zero and pretending to blast off. I remember trying to jump around the room like it was moon gravity as those guys in their space suits. I had Apollo written on a sheet fashioned as a cape. It was all quite magical.

I’m glad I didn’t understand the world political issues of the time.

I hope to see another launch in my time, with the technology available when it happens, viewing it will be glorious!

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No oil

so they left

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Re: No oil

i'm not sure how useful this stuff is, tho'?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3

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He fluffed his lines!

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," wasn't garbled he just fluffed his lines and said "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." If you listen to the recording there is no static or pause where the 'a' should be. I recall a psychologist talking about in a TV documentary he believed it was a subconscious slip because Armstrong knew of the great historical significance of what he was doing.

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Delusion

"You can get a lot more science for your buck using machinery to do your exploring"

This, sir, is just manifestly not true.

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one way trips vs suicide missions

It disheartens me to see a one-way trip to Mars referred to as a 'suicide' mission. Unless the colonists are going to disembark and immediately kill themselves, it is no more a suicide mission than those settlers who travelled to the new world, looking to start anew, and possibly even less suicidal than those who crossed the great plains in the face of hostile native peoples in hopes of building a new life somewhere between the Allegheny mountains and the Pacific coast.

It is, probably, a one-way trip, but so is life.

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Re: one way trips vs suicide missions

*I* would go.

Today. Right now.

No training, no preparation, no learning Russian. To hell with the risk. Put me in one of those cans that ESA uses to supply the ISS and I'll do Science your rovers couldn't match in a million millennia. I'll even repair the broken ones, add new batteries, upgrade their memory and CPU, wipe the dust off, install solar panel windscreen wipers and find Beagle II for you.

I'll train en route in anything you need. I'll learn Russian, Chinese or American as I fall from here to Mars.

Hell, I'll even revive my High School French if it gets me a ticket!

And, no, I don't really care if it is classed as a suicide run.

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Fuel

A11 landed with plenty of fuel left.

http://www.aiaahouston.org/Horizons/Horizons_2013_05_and_06.pdf covers it nicely.

They had more than they thought - but they still thought they were good for another 40 seconds or so.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_18-28a_LM_Descent_Stage_Propellant_Status.htm has numbers.

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Good read!

Great article, probably the most balanced article on the subject I've read for years!

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Sigh

Last nights TV news claimed there were 9 moon landing missions.

"Apollo 11 and 8 other moon landings"

Probably researched on Twitter by a 20 something graduate.

For the record:

Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin

Apollo 12 Charles "Pete" Conrad, Alan Bean

Apollo 14 Alan B. Shepard, Edgar Mitchell

Apollo 15 David Scott, James Irwin

Apollo 16 John Young, Charles Duke

Apollo 17 Eugene Cernan, Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt

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Re: Sigh

Not forgetting, please, the Command Module pilots:-

Michael Collins

Richard F Gordon

Stewart A Roosa

Alfred M Worden

Thomas K. Mattingly

Ronald E Evans

They didn't walk on the moon, but they went with those who did. And they are too easily forgotten.

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Re: Sigh

Totally agree.

Something for the fans:

http://www.firstmenonthemoon.com/

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Anonymous Coward

Further Strides into Space

"You'd think that 45 years after the Moon landings humanity would have taken further strides into space"

No, sadly, humanity has spent that time preoccupied with directing its available money and resources into killing various subsets of its species and plethora of cultures.

... in an eerie reflection on the story in 2001, humanity is very much in its infancy, clearly not yet mature enough to move out into the greater universe.

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