Greenwood, Chuck <greenwoodc@...>

Happy Moon Landing Day!!!!!!


Shaun L. Bill

July 20 has many mixed emotions for me.



Forty years ago today, these words, inscribed on a plaque attached to a vehicle carrying two humans, were placed upon the surface of the Moon.

Technologically, it was an incredible achievement that happened on an astonishingly accelerated schedule. Think about it, in early 1961, no human being had ever been launched into space. By mid-1969, humans had advanced their technology enough to have a man walk on the Moon.

However, I tend to view July 20, 1969 with great sadness. This is because, just a little over three years later, we left this plaque on the Moon, as well:

Here Man completed his first explorations of the Moon. December 1972 AD. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind.

That’s right…we quit. We had the most advanced technology ever to be created and used for peaceful purposes and we simply let it go. We left two of the heavy lift vehicles - already paid for, complete and ready to launch – literally to rust.

The United States of America no longer has the capability to perform such missions. In fact, in attempting to create the ‘next generation’ rockets it will use to replace the aging Space Shuttles, the United States has been forced to, basically, reinvent the wheel.

Of course, the main reason behind the retirement of the Saturn V and the cause of so many delays in developing the next launch vehicle is money. “If there is a need for (insert any worthy cause here), then why are we spending all this money in space? “

Of course, we aren’t spending ANY money IN space. It all gets spent here on Earth and almost all of that in the United States . Of course, the sums are large (although nowhere near the top ten budgetary items). But that money gets spent in Huntsville , AL , Cocoa Beach , FL , Houston , TX , New Orleans , LA and Cleveland OH . A preponderance of that is in salaries – salaries for highly skilled and highly trained people.

That money also gets spent in hundred of factories, large and small, across the country.

We were wrong, as a nation, for letting go of this technology. We were wrong, as a nation, for giving up our hands-on, boots-on-the-ground exploration of this final frontier. We were wrong, as a nation, for not taking full advantage of what we had 40 years ago.

As a nation, we need to re-dedicate ourselves to real hands-on exploration of our solar system and use the tools we develop and the knowledge we gain for the benefit of those of us who remain with our boots firmly planted on planet Earth.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chuck Greenwood" <greenwoodc@...>
To: cia-rocketry@...
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2009 7:51:36 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: [cia-rocketry] Celebrate!!!

Happy Moon Landing Day!!!!!!



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