Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Failure is Not an Option

That was a quote attributed to Gene Kranz, NASA Apollo Flight Director, in the movie "Apollo 13". At the 40th Anniversary event sponsored by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation on April 9, 2010 at the Kennedy Space Center, Kranz noted that he did not say that phrase. He allowed as to how during the stressful period of bringing back the Apollo 13 moon lander and its crew safely, the phrase was actually used by a member of his team in describing to another team member what Kranz said at the time. Kranz said something to the effect that they could not fail to bring the crew back alive which the first team member paraphrased into "Failure is not an option". And that is precisely the case with America's space program---we cannot allow it to fail in its mission which it will do if the Obama administration has its way.

Importance of Space Program

If you like speedy communications with friends, fellow workers or other members of your family over your cellphone or its many derivatives; if you find that little GPS unit you use helpful when travelling in unfamiliar territory ; if you enjoy XM or Sirius radio programming; if you enjoy that flat screen TV in your home and your kids enjoy the DVD player in the back seat of the family automobile; if you or the company you work for has saved money otherwise spent travelling to remote locations for meetings by using programs like Go To Meeting; if you appreciate any of those and other things made possible by the work of the passionately dedicated people at NASA and its corporate partners, you certainly owe them your thanks. Virtually every productive activity of modern-day mankind has benefitted from the space program.

One day, we humans will be faced with a need to set up civilization on another world if it is to continue its existence. I was 8 years old at an airshow with my grandfather in 1936 when he pointed up at aerial acrobats in their old cloth covered bi-planes doing their stunts. He said: "I envy you for the things you're going to see and experience in your lifetime, son, and a lot, if not most of it, will be out there!" He sensed even then that space travel and investigation were going to become a very important part of man's future.

Some people still don't see why we are spending money on a space program. Some of them say the money would be better spent to help the poor here on Earth. The fact is, there could be no Earth one day, given all we have come to know about our planet and objects in outer space that are headed our way.

Getting humankind into outer space and living there will require a scientific effort and energy beyond anything that has been done to date. A lot has already been accomplished to provide the base from which the continued effort will build. We must not let government stop what we must do.


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