50 years ago…

50 years ago…

Fifty years ago this month of November, the Saturn V moon rocket, took to its wings for the very first time. T-minus-Zero of this unmanned flight came at precisely 7 AM Florida time. Walter Cronkite would yell “Our building’s shaking here. Our building’s shaking!” as pieces of his set started to fall apart. But who can blame him, as the most powerful rocket that has ever flown took off a scant 3 1/2 miles away. The USSR’s N-1 moon rocket had...

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God Speed Gene Cernan

God Speed Gene Cernan

The past year has seen the passings of three of my childhood “heros,” two of which were moonwalkers and the third the country’s first man to orbit the earth. The deaths of the original astronauts from the 60s will obviously grow in the coming years. With the passing of Gene Cernan, cuts the number of men who did leave footprints on another celestial body down to six out of the original 12. From Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin and from Apollo 12, Alan...

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Godspeed John Glenn

Godspeed John Glenn

The term “hero” has been one of the most overused and misused words of the past couple of decades. (“diversity” being at the top of the list and the phrase “celebrate diversity” deserves to be put out of its misery with a litter of rabid dachshund puppies). Baseball players who get a walk-off grand slam at the bottom of the 10th, a movie celebrity who takes on a controversial role, a singer to performs even though they a hangnail, are today’s...

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Freedom 7 + 55 years

Freedom 7 + 55 years

As I am writing this, it is the 55th anniversary of the launch of the Mercury Spacecraft, Freedom 7, our first manned spaceflight. It’s hard to underestimate how important it was to the national psyche after being upstaged by the Russians (RUSSIANS!) several times from first satellite, first spacecraft to the moon, first spacecraft to use solar-cells, first to photograph another body up close, and so on and so on. It was especially difficult,...

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Ed Mitchell and Apollo 14

Ed Mitchell and Apollo 14

The passing of Apollo 14 astronaut, Ed Mitchell, recently marks in a way, “the beginning of the end” of the Apollo era. As I write the I am listening to the air-to-ground audio of their mission, that occurred 45 years ago in February, 1971. Mitchell’s colleagues, commander and first American in space, Alan B. Shepard, and command-module pilot, Stu Roosa both passed away some time ago, leaving Ed as the sole representative of the third landing...

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Ms. Astronaut

Ms. Astronaut

Not too long ago I attended a talk by Stephan Pastis the creator of one of my favorite comic strips: Pearls Before Swine. Of course he described the process of getting a strip selected for syndication (a process ultimately aided by Scott Adams), how many times he had to submit and so on. This reminded me of my own experience in that arena. Being a “child” of the 60’s…uh, not the bead wearing “peace, man!” slacker types, my sister filled that...

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