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49 Years Ago - Apollo 8 Launched!

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49 Years Ago - Apollo 8 Launched!
Post by Charybdis   » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:42 am

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1968 was a horrible year, Vietnam War still ramping up. two political assassinations (Robert F Kennedy & Martin Luther King Jr.) and multiple center-city riots & destruction. Yet, on December 21st, in only the second manned Apollo Launch and with the memories of the Apollo 1 disaster (01/27/1967) still fresh in the minds of the small astronaut corps, Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders set off to truly go where no one had gone before! :!:

For the very first time, a space mission would leave Earth's gravity and orbit another world, in this case our Moon. Any malfunction would likely be fatal as they were completely on their own. Yet, on Christmas Eve, while orbiting the Moon, they did a TV Broadcast showing the rugged Lunar Landscape and read the first verses from the Book of Genesis, describing the creation of the Earth & Firmament. :D

Those of us old enough to have been glued to the TV for that broadcast will probably never forget it. Those too young and born afterwards should weep for the lack of imagination and challenge that was once our birthright and the hallmark of NASA! Remembering this, I recall all of the promise of the Space Program and all of the political compromises that has emasculated this glorious start! Will we see a return to the Moon and will it be by Americans or even have an American crew-member? Will it be in my lifetime? :?

What say you, my peers?
Re: 49 Years Ago - Apollo 8 Launched!
Post by Fireflair   » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:10 am

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Well, if the Donald is to be believed, we'll be going back to the moon. And we'll be headed to Mars as well. He's issued a mandate to NASA to accomplish both. The mandate was signed on the 11th of December.

The directive essentially orders NASA to work toward the goal of putting American's on the moon with the further focus of landing a man on Mars.

Of course when and if this ever comes to fruition is a great question. Just getting a mission together for a moon landing would take years. Maybe Trump would see a moon landing before the end of his second term. Maybe not. He certainly won't see a Mars landing. Currently any trip to the Martian surface is a one way trip, anyway.

A Dutch group called Mars One wants to put people on Mars and send them sailing in 2024, with colony establishment in 2032. But it's still a one way trip and they acknowledge that in their press releases. NASA's last press release about going to Mars in person was a vague notion of mid 2030's.

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