On the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11’s first human landing on the Moon, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum welcomes the Apollo 11 crew, as well as Mission Control creator and former Johnson Space Center director Chris Kraft as the speakers for the Museum’s 2009 John H. Glenn lecture in space history.




  1. bobbo, seeing you and raising one says:

    Yea, I stopped watching pretty early. Manned missions in space==pure waste of money.

    I recall that scene in Right Stuff where Glenn demanded a window in the craft so they wouldn’t be hammered with the recognition they really were just monkey’s in a tin can.

    “Let’s learn one tenth as much as we could and spend 10 times more, but we can plant a flag, drive a golf ball, and drive a car on the moon.”

    Yeeeaaaaaa TEAM!!!!!!

  2. bobbo, curious says:

    Over three hours and no responses? Is the website broken?

    I was hoping Bubba would fly by and remind us all how uplifting to the human spirit it is to waste money in space.

    Hard to avoid astronaut profundities this week==all over the TV. Shows on TV about living on the moon.

    Funny, as space physicists and what not you’d think it would be this very advocate group that would comprehend and deal with the energy requirements of getting into space. Prohibitive.

    EG–take all the energy of earth to accelerate a rocket to near the speed of light.

    Space is large, making large hurdles. Imagination has no cost at all.

  3. hhopper says:

    Here are just a few of the benefits we’ve received from the space program.

  4. bobbo, highlighting the issue says:

    #3–hopper===thanks. All such lists are interesting to review. There is little to zero on the list that “required” manned flights.

    I don’t question the benefits of space exploration, satellites, and whatnot. Its the added expense of doing things with humans that robots are better at.

    Now, having the technology to repair the Hubble seems like a good thing although I wonder what the cost comparison would be to simply launch a whole new Hubble repaired on earth would have been?

    Its an accountants puzzle but again worthy of some analysis.

    Hopper (et al) what if the list you provided could be 5 times longer if only robots went to space?

  5. bac says:

    Would America even have a space program if Pres. Kennedy made a speech stating that America would place a robot craft on the moon within the decade? Probably not.

    Yes, it could be argued that humans weren’t needed but putting faces on the space program helped inspire people. Not only did great stuff come out of NASA but what about all the things that were created or invented because of the people that decided to study engineering and science because of the manned space program.

    You could say the same thing about sports, who needs humans when robots can be built to play.

    Humans become more interested when other humans are involved.

  6. bobbo, taking the point offered says:

    #5–bac==so, what you are really saying is we did not go to space for all the increased knowledge but rather to create heroes we can worship? I agree.

    As to your supporting point: nobody “needs” sports whether played by humans or robots. Do you recognize your more subtle point in operation?

    A few people benefit from a certain activity, then that activity is SOLD TO the rest of the hero worshiping sheep to pay for.

    Lets just all recognize WHY we waste so much money.

  7. Glenn E. says:

    #1. Manned missions in space==pure waste of money.

    Yeah, I agree with you Bobbo. And my name really is Glenn. But I’m now snowed by everything an astronaut named John Glenn sez.

    I we really wanted to blow billions of dollars on space, and still possibly get something useful out of it. Lets send asteroid tagging probes, out there. So those big ones can’t sneak up on us, without giving us some advanced warning. Then, at least we can send out some kinds of rocket booster to push their path away from earth. Which would be the safest thing to do. Rather than blowing them into hundreds of pieces. That won’t all necessarily burn up. Besides, we might want to mine them things, someday. So why not park them in a nice safe orbit in the asteroid belt? Tagged with some kind of transponder, the ones larger enough to get thru our atmosphere and kill us, would no longer be some invisible threat, floating around out there. And we can worry about them, if and when they REALLY are a threat. Not one of NASA’s many false alarms, cause they can’t track them accurately.

    I thought I’d mention this after NBC’s propaganda remake of “Meteor” into a Tv mini series. Nukes in space, we definitely DO NOT NEED. But these clowns always seem bent on selling this. Especially as (and after) we manage to reduce some of our nuclear arms, along with the Russians. I’m sure defense contractors (and G.E. is one) want those reassigned as asteroid killers. At a huge taxpayer expense. Regardless of this violating a treaty banning weapons in space. These jerk wads (since the Reagon admin.) really want us to forget that treaty ever existed. For as many times as I’ve seen scifi movies showing warheads put to such use. That’s always their justification for it. Killer asteroids. But really, it’s to rekindle the arms race.

  8. bac says:

    Bobbo, are you trying to wake people up to the fact that they make illogical decisions? Hopefully, many of us know we make illogical decisions.

  9. bobbo, late in the day for kindred spirits says:

    #7–Glenn==I have a friend named Glenn. He hates it. Hard to make a hotel reservation.

    My real name is bobbo. No problems unless there is a clown convention in town.

    I think nukes in space as agreed to by the UN is totally different kind of danger than nukes in space by contesting super powers. Unless that space elevator gets off the ground, I don’t think there is any ECONOMICAL way to mine space. Like everything else, its only a good idea “in theory.”

    #8–bac==welcome to the dialectic. One idea follows another. Only after about 10 interactions and a do-over and a final conclusion can one be said to really be considering an issue. Hard to get two steps from the premise with most subjects.

  10. Crapple says:

    Given the offer to “fly” to a remote lifeless planet in a can, or to jump above and back into the atmosphere in an x-15, I would take the latter.

  11. Jägermeister says:

    Bobbo:

    Many space mission could be done without humans, but what counts is to put guys (or gals) on the planets in order to claim that you were there first. Robots has their place though (e.g. mining and building).

  12. natefrog says:

    Re: bobbo et al,

    So do you guys have any facts to justify your opinion that the moon program wasn’t worth it?

    The cost of putting a man on the moon was about $135b (in 2005 dollars). That’s a bargain considering all of the technological, scientific, and other breakthroughs for humanity.

    We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, 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 which we intend to win, and the others, too…Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there.” Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked. -John F. Kennedy

    It’s clear you’ve lost your ability to explore, to learn, to face a challenge, to imagine.

    And to answer your question in #4: Show us evidence that would be true. Don’t ask us questions about hypothetical situations and expect us to answer them to make you feel like your point is justified.

  13. natefrog says:

    Addendum: I’m glad visionaries were in charge back in the 60s, and not you, bobbo.

  14. natefrog says:

    #10, crapple;

    Hmm. Neil Armstrong was given the opportunity to do both. Guess which one he’s most famous for and which one he’s most proud of?

  15. natefrog says:

    #11,Jägermeister;

    I would argue that doing it for the sake of doing it and saying “We (humanity) did it,” is a perfectly good reason without having to say “I claim this moon in the name of the USA.”

    But then again, I could be considered an idealist.

  16. bobbo, with a fully active imagination says:

    Natefrog–Imagine what else could be done with the money spent on MANNED space missions. Why is YOUR imagination so limited you can think of inspiration coming in one model only?

    You know what would have shown a lot of imagination in 1961 AND would have been REAL HARD? Many things, but I’ll start with energy independence.

    Is it lack of imagination, rigidity, or slavish adulation of the new thing that makes you unwilling to compare and contrast the pro’s and con’s of any given subject?

  17. RBG says:

    I am manned space flight’s biggest fan. I can just remember seeing John Glenn’s TV blast off, young as I was. I religiously got up at whatever hour of the night to follow the latest Apollo mission. I remember where I watched the moon landing and wondered why all the parents wouldn’t also be glued to the television for this historic moment.

    I even used a typewriter for all my NASA info requests just in case they should ever figure in my later astronaut selection competition.

    So I have always been manned space flight’s biggest fan. That is, until last Saturday. When I read the outrageous headline: “The End Is Near For Space Station. It’s just nearing completion, but NASA plans to bring it down in 2016.”

    So today I’m the biggest fan in the same way that murderous ex-nurse was Jame’s Caan’s biggest fan in the movie “Misery.”

    Of course the Space Station won’t be sent crashing down as scheduled in 7 years. There would be too much political fall-out and too many questions as to whether we got even a mere fraction of the $100 billion dollar price tag out of that machine. Think of what you could do if you dedicated $100 billion towards solving some of Earth’s known problems, never mind serendipitous by-products.

    The irritation for me is the attitude, reflected by the headline, that we can build things for these incomprehensible amounts and that seems to be a satisfying end unto itself.

    My feeling, at least for the time being – and in light of the spectacular successes of missions like the Mars rovers and Hubble – is that unmanned exploration is the cost-effective, highest ROI, safest, most responsible way to go. Leave the Mankind-sized egos off the balance sheet.

    RBG

  18. natefrog says:

    #16;

    Show us evidence that would be true. Don’t ask us questions about hypothetical situations and expect us to answer them to make you feel like your point is justified.

    And who said that I think space travel is the only way? I certainly didn’t, don’t put words in my mouth.

  19. bobbo, patting the retard on the head says:

    #18–nate==stay in school, learn to read. Join the debate club.

    There is still hope for you, if you try.

  20. natefrog says:

    #19;

    Let’s see…in the debate club, you have to answer the question.

    You’ve lost.


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