Apollo 11 Nearly Failed – Ed O’Rourke

This is what I will be sending to my St Vincent’s 1958 class and St Thomas High School 1962 class:

It was only recently when I discovered what a hard time the astronauts had.  Two came close to perishing.

I invite you to see these two presentations from Youtube:

Moon Landing Apollo 11 – Was almost a disaster | 50th Anniversary Tribute

Moon Landing Apollo 11 – Was almost a disaster | 50th Anniversary Tribute

Moon Landing Apollo 11 – Was almost a disaster | 50th Anniversary TributeMoon Landing. Apollo 11 was almost a disaster. A thousand years from now, when historians look back on the histo…

14 Secrets About The Apollo 11 Moon Landing

14 Secrets About The Apollo 11 Moon Landing

14 Secrets About The Apollo 11 Moon LandingIn 1969 the NASA sent the space ship ‘eagle’ with Neil Armstrong on a mission to the moon. The Apollo 11 moon la…

Sputnik One was a shock. I never thought that a slave society could accomplish something like this. For the next two years, the Houston Post had at least one article a week talking about how crummy our math and science courses were.  At Saint Vincent’s, our literature and history courses were watered down and boring but nobody was concerned.

When the Russians launched Sputnik Two, Bill Seerden and others had the idea that they sent a human being. After all, life in the Soviet Union was cheap.  It turns out that they sent a dog.  There was no enough space for anything else.

The Russians went on to achieve remarkable feats. In the early days, military power and propaganda  were the driving forces for both sides. After a while, scientific discoveries became important.

Our parents remember where they were on December 7, 1941 when they learned about Pearl Harbor.  We remember where we were on November 22, 1963 when we heard about JFK’s murder.  Everybody remembers where they were when they watched the Apollo 11 landing.

Pope Paul VI remarked that man had reached the pale light of his nights and his dreams.

Quiz show-type question:  Identify astronomy’s golden age.

My answer: It is now.  It started on October 4,1957.  We now have the Big Bang, worm holes, exoplanets, black holes, dark energy and dark matter. The ETs have been observing us, perhaps for many centuries.  Astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Buzz Aldrin are convinced that they exist. Someday the ETs will make a formal appearance on Times Square or some other public place.

People who were born in 1944 have also witnessed astonishing political events.  On November 9, 1989, the East German government opened the Berlin Wall.  On December 26, 1991, the Supreme Soviet declared that Soviet Union no longer existed.  Then, they voted the Supreme Soviet out of existence.Scientists like Martin Rees show us that humans can accomplish much more.  At the same time, he points out the risks from our technology and its applications.  Here is a sample book:

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Casey Kasem encouraged us to keep our feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.  We have been doing that all along.

Sincerely,

Ed

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