Evoloterra

One of the saddest things about the atrocity (not “tragedy” — does no one know the meaning of that word any more?) in Colorado (for me personally, of course, obviously not for the friends and families of those involved) is that it completely derailed any commemoration of what we accomplished forty-three years ago today. But while we have done a segment on The Space Show on the subject this time of year every year for the past half dozen, today was the first time that we did one a) with Margaret Jordan, one of the other authors and b) actually performed the ceremony live on air (or rather, on line). It got a good response, with several callers calling in to say that they were moved in listening to it, and were going to perform it themselves. If so, that’s great, because that’s why we wrote it. Perhaps we should have done it years ago. Anyway, here is the link, and the podcast is available now. You might also want to check out The Space Show blog.

10 thoughts on “Evoloterra

  1. Leland

    To me, the continued marking of the Apollo 11 landing is a bit of a calamity. AoS noted it well, with the slightest commentary. In 66 years, we went from the sands of Kitty Hawk to the dust of the Moon. In 40 years, we don’t have the means to make it back for at least another 5.

  2. Paul Milenkovic

    In 40 years we have

    1) Aviation engines with single-crystal turbine blades running thermodynamic cycles so efficient that derivative engines are the main method for generating electricity in stationary power plants,

    2) Glass cockpits that two-person crews can operate everything from a regional jet to a widebody jumbo (you could probably safely operate these jets with one person were it not for union rules, the desire for a factor-of-safety of a second human in the cockpit),

    3) Markedly improved transonic wing designs — winglets, supercritical wing,

    4) Dramatic weight reduction and use of improved metal alloys and use of composite materials,

    5) Much safer operation, through electronics and improved training and operating procedures. We have airliners that can fly between any two points in the world nonstop, and in the U.S., airliners have got so efficient and cost effective that they are the backbone of our common-carrier intercity transportation system. The airlines are within shouting distance of the fuel efficiency of Amtrak.

    In military aircraft, the U.S. has the F-22 Raptor, expensive, yes, controversial, yes, but they tell me that in war game exercises, that thing is like Robo Cop, where one Raptor can get the drop on a whole squadron of our other front-line jets (F-15′s, F-16′s).

    Maybe we are not back on the Moon because we didn’t think there was anything that interesting to do on the Moon.

    1. Leland

      I didn’t say aeronautics has not advanced, but none of those advancements allow us to get to the moon earlier than 5 years.

      As for this: Maybe we are not back on the Moon because we didn’t think there was anything that interesting to do on the Moon.

      I’m as lost as Der Schtumpy in figuring out how this statement would suggest more interest in the anniversary. I find going back to the moon very interesting, my problem is we went from the acheivement and capability to not having the capability to make this acheivement. And the 5 years I provided is optomistic. If you go with NASA timelines (and believe for more than a second NASA will meet them), then we couldn’t go back to the moon in this decade and do the other things. We’d be lucky to go back to the moon by the end of the next decade. Fortunately in the US, NASA is no longer the final word, and that is probably the biggest advancement in aerospace.

  3. Der Schtumpy

    Paul,
    we have no idea what ‘interesting’ on the moon. We’ve only looked at a miniscule section.

    1. Paul Milenkovic

      Never said there is nothing interesting to do on the Moon. I said that the generic “we” didn’t thing there was anything interesting these intervening 40 years since “we” left the Moon.

      Aerospace was in the “bear skins and stone knives” days 40 years ago compared to day — a lot of the advance is in electronics, but much of it is in structures, materials, did I even mention 3D FEM and fluids solvers?

      1. Der Schtumpy

        OK, I took you to mean not interesting enough to go back. My brain is not working this week, I guess I misread or didn’t even read it fully, on a second glance.

  4. mivenho

    Sending men to the moon or to Mars is exciting and inspiring, but there is more scientific and economic value in unmanned exploration.

  5. Fletcher Christian

    mivenho – Right now, sure. But the real future is people in space. Not for a visit, but to live up there. And marry, and have children. Lots of them.

  6. Der Schtumpy

    Right now the real value of the Moon might be as a ‘garden’ for Earth like in ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’. We can’t control weather here, up there we’d have no droughts.

    If we can mine the water there….but WE’ve got to be standing there in human form. Robots farming won’t work IMHO

  7. Ken Murphy

    Had a great time with Moon Day here in Dallas – 20 exhibits from local clubs and groups, including two inflatable planetariums, a full day of lectures on space topics, from rockets to the Moon and Mars, and all kinds of classes for the kids. There’s an awesome art show (up till September), and over 200 kids got Lunar Sample Bags stuffed with space swag and info, and we gave away great door prizes like vials of Moon & Mas regolith simulant from Orbitec, Great Moonbuggy Race t-shirts, copies of Homer Hickam’s new book crater, Lunar SAR patches from Allen Steele, a Falcon 9/Dragon model rocket from SpaceX and more, plus the movies “Postcards from the Future”, and “Max Goes to the Moon” from the Fiske Planetarium. AMSAT tuned into LEO satellites passing overhead, and TX & Fort Worth Astronomical Societies were showing folks the sunspots with their safe Solar telescopes. There were robots running around all over the place as well as kids. It was awesome! Can’t wait till next year’s Moon Day!

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