Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here..."

"Houston, we have a problem."

Those words were made famous by Tom Hanks starring as astronaut Jim Lovell in the 1995 Ron Howard movie "Apollo 13". It was a great line for Hollywood but the line it was adapted from was just as dramatic and the dangers very real. On April 13th 1970, Jim Lovell and his crew were nearly 200,000 miles away away from earth when he said "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here..." Know one knew for sure what exactly had happened at that point but an unprecedented rescue mission was immediately underway. Everyone involved knew the dangers of manned space flight but up until this point nothing of this nature had ever transpired. We've seen the movie and even read up on it but it is an incident that has largely been forgotten by the world. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that no one died and they did manage to get the 3 astronauts back to earth.

The whole Apollo program was a great advancement for science. Man walked on the moon way back in 1969 but unfortunately we've been no where close to going back since 1971. We've heard all the arguments against space travel. We've heard everything from the economy to funding for other programs. What people fail to realize is that those Gemini and Apollo programs effected technology back on earth too. The money spent on research for those missions had other practical uses for every day life just like any future manned space flights would. For decades every American administration has spent a ridiculous amount of money on national defense. There are so many people working in the military industry whether it is building planes, weapons or body armor. There are so many people working in this industry that war almost becomes a necessity to justify it and so do the ridiculous defense budgets. I mean where would all these people go if the defense budget was cut like every other program? Why can't we redirect some of this money towards NASA and their research?

Earlier today Neil Armstrong who was the first man to walk on the moon, criticized President Obama's space policy. The views do hold some weight as Neil Armstrong doesn't really speak publicly much anymore and for him to do it on this anniversary is pretty significant.

Where do you sit on manned space flight? Do you want to see it happen again? Do you see it happening in your lifetime? 

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and BeyondApollo 13Apollo 13 (15th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

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