Thanks Neil, Michael, and Buzz

https://i0.wp.com/z.about.com/d/history1900s/1/7/Q/C/1/apollo11.jpg?w=700

America, and the world, is in your eternal debt.

My fond memories from this time would not be complete without the mention of another person.

Thanks Walter, to you too, wherever you are.

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188 thoughts on “Thanks Neil, Michael, and Buzz

  1. I remember lying on the beach in the dark, looking at the moon, listening on the short wave radio and drinking Scotch illegally obtained from an American ship. This was on Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf. Magic time.

  2. An amazing achievemnent. I saw the missions live on TV as a child. The sense of wonder and danger and the bravery of all the apollo astronauts filled me with a longing for adventure and an admiration for what humans can achieve.

  3. I was a new lecturer at London University at the time. I’ll never forget the ’60s in London.
    I was a new student in London at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. As Kennedy’s deadline approached the sound of warplanes climbing up from airbases around he city seemed to be everywhere. My girlfriend at the time cried because she thought we were going to die in a nuclear war.
    I remember the Moon landing in great detail, we took the day off and watched it on a black and white rented TV. It stood on a beer crate covered by an old fur coat so as to look trendy. My girlfriend at the time cried because she thought a new world was beginning; then we all drank lots of wine.
    We all thought that by 2009 there would be colonies on the Moon and men on Mars. We thought that ‘2001 – a space odyssey’ was reliable future history.
    These are two of my strongest memories of the sixties.
    I feel kind of cheated now.

  4. I remember those childhood years with great fondness…. the years when I still believed in fairy tales and happy-ever-after endings… the years when I still believed in science… the days when I still believed the main stream media… but now I understand the power of television and everything has changed… now we need to look at the world with adult eyes… now we need to identify the lies and half truths… now we must try to unravel the facts from the fictions.

  5. I would also like to add my thanks to those three young men who changed the world forever. And also to the thousands of engineers whose dedicated work made it all possible. This was an event and an achievement that united all of mankind, if only for a time.
    I support manned spaceflight because it is a potent symbol of mankind’s spirit of discovery. Apart from the spiritual advance that it brought, I’ve no doubt that in the long run Apollo was of enormous economic value, both for America and the whole world.
    It is disappointing that America and NASA seemed to lose their way in the decades that followed Apollo. Building up capability for low Earth orbit operations with the ISS and the shuttle was useful and perhaps necessary. But back in the time of Apollo it was almost assumed that we would have men on Mars by the eighties. Now, forty years later, it’s probably even more distant. I’ll probably never see it in my lifetime.
    With that in mind, what could be a better tribute to Neil, Michael and Buzz than an international effort to put men on Mars by 2020?
    Chris

  6. I expected a job in space. I read my sci-fi and frankly Heinlein in particular is a blueprint for our next step to Inter-planetry Man.
    But something changed that day. As Humans we lost our Will to take on New Frontiers. More Engineering was accomplished in the ’50s and ’60s than in the 40 years since.
    The accountants, lawyers and politicians somehow hijacked Human ingenuity and took it beyond the reach of normal people with extraordinary ideas.

  7. I recall catching a glimpse of this historic event in between doing 3 low level Macchi sorties at RAAF Pearce near Perth Australia and learnt later that our Parkes Observatory was instrumental in relaying the TV pictures to the world.
    Seems like the Parkes engineers were going as blue in the face as the NASA technicians at moon landing wondering whether the dish was going to hold out in the gale force winds ten times stronger than it was normally considered safe to operate.
    [url=http://www.orlandosentinel.com/media/photo/2008-09/42594022.jpg]Buzz Aldrin’s footprint[/url] probably still on the moon remains as a lasting testimony to human endeavour which I believe one day will take us far beyond our solar system to yet another frontier to conquer.

  8. It was in the wee hours of the morning and I was eating a bowl of amerikanski cornflakeski in the exact moment Neil sat his foot on the moon.
    I was as impressed by the TV pictures that had travelled from the moon to earth, then by satellite to the other side of the earth.
    Live!

  9. Forty years ago my flat-mates and I couldn’t afford a television as well as food, but we managed to hire a black and white television for the minimum of a month just so we could watch the moon landings, and we stayed up all night to watch (it happened at night here in the UK). No event since has matched the drama and I, too, would like to thank all those that made it possible.

  10. I’ve already blogged about this
    Nearly everything we have done in space has been an anticlimax after Apollo*. We should aim for Mars.
    I think the ISS is a waste of time and money. The Shuttle should have been scrapped long ago.
    *The exceptions would be Hubble, the Pioneers, the Voyagers, the Vikings, Spirit and Opportunity, Galileo and Cassini.

  11. If those same 3 guys were sent to the moon today, all we’d hear is grumbling about the lack of “diversity” on the mission.

  12. “John Silver (02:53:55) :
    It was in the wee hours of the morning and I was eating a bowl of amerikanski cornflakeski in the exact moment Neil sat his foot on the moon.
    I was as impressed by the TV pictures that had travelled from the moon to earth, then by satellite to the other side of the earth.
    Live!”
    Via the radio telescope in Parkes, NSW, Australia. The only one big enough and advanced enough to do the job at that time Apparently). And the tower was under great stress due to a storm too, so we all nearly didn’t get to see the event.

  13. I was 10 years old, and we had just finished haying for the summer on the family farm in Vermont. We were drinking Tang for breakfast, and Vietnam had been pushed off from the headlines for awhile. I remember hearing all the reports on the radio, WIKE, accompanied by that periodic communications beep, as the artonauts approached the moon. That summer seemed to last forever.

  14. I remember the black and white tv, the fuzzy pictures- and then running outside to look up at the moon. I wanted to go, too.

  15. John A (03:11:16) :
    ………………….
    No need to send people to Mars, Spirit and Opportunity are the Neal and Buzz of today.
    Robotics will take over, no return journey needed!

  16. I too watched the moon landings and was thrilled, but it’s a waste of effort to send people to the moon or mars. What the hell are they going to accomplish there compared to what a robot could accomplish for less money?
    Sure, the robots these days are klunky, stupid things, but eventually they will be smart enough to do a better job than any human could do.

  17. It was around 6:30am, July 1969. We’d gone to bed late the night before staying up to watch news of the impending moon landing. My eldest brother woke me, and just simply said, “They’ve landed”! I rushed out of bed half asleep but rapidly waking charged downstairs to see everyone gathered round our Pye B & W tv. There it was, for real, Neil Armstrong decending the ladder. My heart swelled with pride (I wished I was an American for a while) & amazement that they really had gone & done it. It was the talk of the school, every night we were glued to the tv to watch pictures from the moon, & James Burke almost beside himself with excitement about it all. A truly great endeavour, by truly courageous men. I felt rather sorry for poor old Michael Collins up there in the command module all alone, whilst the other two were getting all the glory & excitement down on the surface.
    I was fascinated by space exploration ever since I was 9 or 10 years old, & was given a coloured picture book all about the adventure to date when I had measels by my Aunt. It told of the triumphs that were achieved & the tragedies that befell NASA simply getting this far. Well done USA. I am sure we Brits provided some porcelain somewhere along the way with the tea, among other things! (I still think NASA’s finest hour was Apollo 13, getting them round the moon & back safely again, showing what dedication, determination, skill & professionalism the whole team possessed at NASA. My children still wonder why I get so passionate about the movie, & I tell them I watched it happen!) I recall on Apollos 12-17 the huge improvements in equipment that followed that pioneering Apollo 11landing, the flexible suits compared to the terribly stiff early ones, etc. The “moon hop” developed by the astronauts to bounce along the surface. Truly wonderful. Let’s go back there some time soon, it could easily be paid for many times over by stopping all this Green nonsense.
    BTW, is there a list of all the inventions that arose from the Space Race, eg velcro, etc. I would love to read through such a list, in the meantime I’ll trawl the web.
    Again, well done to those three exceptional men, I salute you.
    AtB

  18. Was sitting next to my girlfriend on the couch watching it on TV with her parents. I was 16 she was 15. For some reason she and I decided to hold hands in front of her parents for the first time that night.

  19. I remember watching on our old black and White tv in our house on Anglesey. I was 4 years old and that day I decided I wanted to be anastronaut. I still do !

  20. ahh, this is when NASA was interesting… and the science starts to get into other dimensions. I clicked on the Google icon yesterday and found, inter alia, Buzz Aldrin explaining a cryptic message they sent – asking about where the ejected earlier stage rocket was – because they’d seen a UFO flying alongside them and they couldn’t exactly talk about it but this was their way of indicating it.
    Fast forward to today… any chance of a piece on crop circles here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mAdrSvOgwI&feature=related is an excellent video (long trailer) with a fair bit of science.

  21. I was a mere five years old during the moon landing. When Armstrong descended the stairs of the lunar lander, my father took photographs of the television screen. As we all know, there was no videotape recorder or Tivo, and this was his way of preserving a memory of the event. He told us that this was a very important day and we should always remember where we were when it took place. I remember I watched for a few minutes, but the images weren’t very good, so I lost interest and went off to play. But I’ve never forgotten where I was that day…
    Outstanding video. Thank you.

  22. And a tear in my eye when Cronkite misreported the results of the Tet offensive and declared the war lost. Nothing Rather ever did could possibly equal this.
    Thousands of American lives and millions of Asians. Thanks again Walter, sniff.

  23. Imagine if the Spanish and Portugese explorers had waited 40 years after Columbus returned — just to make a decision about another expedition 40 years hence….

  24. I was in Phoenix, Arizona, it was just about sunset Phoenix time. I was angry at my younger siblings playing outside who wouldn’t come in and watch with me.
    I was only 10 – but even at the time I knew I’d never witness anything that historic again in my life.

  25. Chris Wright (02:29:27) :

    It is disappointing that America and NASA seemed to lose their way in the decades that followed Apollo. Building up capability for low Earth orbit operations with the ISS and the shuttle was useful and perhaps necessary. But back in the time of Apollo it was almost assumed that we would have men on Mars by the eighties. Now, forty years later, it’s probably even more distant. I’ll probably never see it in my lifetime.
    With that in mind, what could be a better tribute to Neil, Michael and Buzz than an international effort to put men on Mars by 2020?

    How about exploring the oceans properly first or instead? Robots can do much better on Mars than people can. What if something goes wrong 3 weeks out? What if the astronauts go insane? (Some of the space station folks have come close to losing it.) What is the point of putting a fragile hairless ape on a frozen dead planet?
    Going to Mars is very romantic, but there are much better ways to spend our money.
    We could also cure malaria, or just make sure every child on the planet has clean drinking water… sorry to be a spoil sport.

  26. @ – Purakanui 02:13:29) : I feel kind of cheated now.
    Why? Because your girlfriend was wrong, and you didn’t die in WWIII? It was distinct possibility!
    @ – John A (03:11:16) :
    *. We should aim for Mars.
    Nearly everything we have done in space has been an anticlimax after Apollo*. We should aim for Mars . . . The exceptions would be Hubble, the Pioneers, the Voyagers, the Vikings, Spirit and Opportunity, Galileo and Cassini.
    Those are all unmanned explorations, which many people would like to support at the expense of, to their mind, wasteful, manned voyages. I tend to agree with them.

  27. It was a wonderful moment, although bittersweet for me because I knew Congress had cut off funding for the Apollo program.
    I also don’t think highly of the ISS, except it has given us experience in living quarters and more recent technologies than those in the Shuttle. We’ll need that further out in space.

  28. I wish I could have been inspired by this…once again I find myself thinking I was born too late…

  29. “How about exploring the oceans properly first or instead? Robots can do much better on Mars than people can. What if something goes wrong 3 weeks out? What if the astronauts go insane? (Some of the space station folks have come close to losing it.) What is the point of putting a fragile hairless ape on a frozen dead planet?
    Going to Mars is very romantic, but there are much better ways to spend our money.
    We could also cure malaria, or just make sure every child on the planet has clean drinking water… sorry to be a spoil sport.”
    Arrgh!!
    Does no-one else see this as the flawed logic of a decaying culture??

  30. That was a forward-looking can-do generation – an era in which bravery, success and triumph were to be championed, not derided.
    Compare the Apollo epic with today’s world.
    My children are not allowed to have a sports day, in case someone wins.
    My children are not allowed to walk to school, in case they hurt themselves.
    My children cannot play ball in the playground, as it is dangerous.
    Boys are not allowed to play cowboys and Indians, as that is violent and racist.
    My children have to slow their education, to allow others to catch up.
    Engineering is for dumbheads who cannot get into finance.
    Rockets may harm the environment.
    A deliberate concentration on simple wind technology will prevent anyone building a nuclear space-probe to go to Mars.
    Money needs to be channelled towards helping the Third World, not elitist stunts.
    We need to reduce wealth and output, to help the environment and prevent CO2.
    It would be more environmentally friendly if we lived in mud huts and used strip-farming.
    The Medieval Era was a golden age.

  31. Just before the moonwalk, my father called us in from the backyard in Chico, CA, where my brother and I were playing in a Lunar Module built from an old Sears refrigerator box.

  32. >>>We could also cure malaria, or just make sure every child
    >>>on the planet has clean drinking water… sorry to be a
    >>>spoil sport.
    Oh, brilliant! So we can overpopulate the Earth even more and denude its resources completely, while decaying as a species to a point of irrelevance.
    Rather, we should introduce population control (population being the biggest threat to the environment) and reach for the stars. We either stagnate on a festering planet for the next billion years, or boldly strike out with new technology to ‘go where no man has gone before’ (and all the other clichés). I know where I would rather be.

  33. The Apollo landing was one of the high points of my life. I now look at it as bittersweet. My generation (Baby Boomers) were given the keys to the stars by our parents and we threw them away…. how very sad. We never even tried to build on this legacy. My G-d! we are still using the spacecraft our parents built (the Shuttle)! Another tick mark for the Worst Generation. Hopefully our children will pick up the torch. Sorry about the rant, but this is one sore spot with me and hits me each July.

  34. Sandy (02:29:56) :
    The accountants, lawyers and politicians somehow hijacked Human ingenuity and took it beyond the reach of normal people with extraordinary ideas.

    Yeah, once we accountants invented the pocket protector, it was all over. It’s only a matter of time before our diabolical plan to deluge the world with beans comes to fruition!!! Ah, hahahahaha!!!
    Wow, and I thought we were just doing people’s taxes all this time. I gotta ask the AICPA where to apply for one of these ingenuity hijacking jobs.
    A toast to Neil, Michael, and Buzz. One of humanity’s greatest accomplishments.
    Oh, and uh, if any of you happen to read here and need someone to do your taxes, don’t hesitate to look me up.

  35. Sandy: “Does no one else see this as the flawed logic…..?
    Of course I do. This is Pelosi-think from the school of Reidian philosophy. The USA is, of course, capable of only one action at a time and the beginning of any course of activity is an absolute barrier to any other activity.
    @Robert: Yeah, I’m a little choked up about Walter too. I got home from Nam in May of 70 and within a week had developed an absolute aversion to agenda driven network news which persists to this day. I figure Walter had a hand in about 25,000 US casualties. Congress can take credit for most of the Asian dead.

  36. This is a wonderful thread! I love hearing the stories about where folks were when they watched the moon landings, especially from posters in other countries.

    Purakanui (02:13:29) :
    I was a new lecturer at London University at the time. I’ll never forget the ’60s in London. I was a new student in London at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. As Kennedy’s deadline approached the sound of warplanes climbing up from airbases around he city seemed to be everywhere. My girlfriend at the time cried because she thought we were going to die in a nuclear war…

    People today don’t realize how close the world came to nuclear war.
    I was a 19-year old kid in Viet Nam during Apollo 11, watching it on our base’s single 19 inch B&W TV set. A million things could have gone wrong; computers — what there were of them — still used lots of vacuum tubes/valves. The trip itself was astonishingly risky.
    One of the old timers watching the moon landing with us at our base [Tuy Hoa] told us he’d been stationed in Taiwan during the Cuban missile crisis. He said they had loaded each aircraft with “atom bombs.” I asked him why [since Russia was the main enemy back then, at least in the eyes of a naive young 19-year old kid].
    He told us that we were going to take out both Russia and China, because communism was the enemy. He told us that the Taiwan F-100 fighters were each loaded with 2 atomic bombs, and three extra fuel tanks. The pilots were not expected to return.
    I remember during the Tet offensive when Walter Cronkite declared the war lost.
    But many years later I read a quote by the NVA’s top general and strategist, General Vo Nguyen Giap:

    ”What we still don’t understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi. You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the battles of TET. You defeated us! We knew it, and we thought you knew it.
    ”But we were elated to notice your media was definitely helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!”

    Yes, we had won. But like Hannibal at the gates of Rome, we blinked.
    And we found out the “domino effect” was true. Burma [now Myanmar] is still ruled by brutal communist dictators. The Cambodian killing fields were a direct consequence of our misunderstanding of the last gasp of the North Vietnamese military’s loss in the Tet offensive.
    The loss of the Vietnam war can be laid directly at the feet of the propagandists in the media, with their constant drumbeat of defeatism, 24/7/365 — the same self-centered, elite media that constantly beats the AGW drum today.
    The results of the media’s false AGW propaganda will be every bit as disastrous as the results of misinforming the citizenry of who really won the Tet offensive.

  37. I relived some fond memories last night, watching the replay of the mission broadcasts. That mission lifted off the day before my 15th birthday, back when my Dad worked for NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center. He got me into the communications control center during the mission on a visitor pass (Goddard managed the comm network for Apollo)…something I’ll never forget. I can’t help but think he’d be disappointed and a bit angry with what some are doing with Goddard’s good name nowadays.
    My hat’s off to that whole generation of adventurers and scientists who pulled that off with what they had at the time, creating technology along the way that we take so much for granted today. Thanks to all.

  38. These men are heroes for all mankind. I had great expectations for the future, but the future seems to have fizzled out. Launching from the earth’s surface has too many draw-backs. Development of the space elevator has so many pros to it that it seems illogical to even ask “should we”? I hope Sandy is wrong, and that we light a fire under our collective asses and make the future a great one. Fear and complacency leads to a vegetative state, which leads to rot and corruption. It seems these gentlemen (and their team) had more courage than all of us put together.

  39. That version of the USA is long dead. It died in 1972. This new USA, this banana republic, is to its former self as Cambodia is to the Old Khmer Kingdom.

  40. We did not sleep that night, waiting their moon landing. How times have changed! since then. Hope there will reappear the good guys again.

  41. ralph ellis, you sound like John Holdren. How will you control the population: forced abortions, forced chemical sterilizations, mass genocide, or just let them drink filthy water?
    Control of population by rationing the energy consumption is the same idea of crazy green eugenics we are fighting here against.

  42. AEGeneral — you are confused by the fact that there are two sorts of accountants.
    The first sort is an enabler. No enterprise can succeed without knowing its inputs and outputs, any more than a car trip (or a space voyage) can succeed without fuel management. An accountant who is an enabler keeps track of the inputs and outputs, and finds ways to help the directors of the enterprise do what needs to be done given the current state of I/O. You would appear to at least consider yourself that sort.
    The second sort of accountant is more properly termed “bean counter”. Such a one knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing, and leverages his (or her) position to force everyone to comply with routines and procedures and form-filling that have nothing to do with the goal of the enterprise. Given free rein, a bean counter can kill an enterprise as thoroughly as an Ebola epidemic among the participants — but can always blame somebody else for not keeping proper accounts.
    When people rail against accountants, it is complaints about the second sort. For many, keeping the books is a tedious and odious task, but it has to be done for the enterprise to succeed, and we are fortunate that there are people who find it bearable or even interesting. It’s just that there are ‘way too many people who have been stifled by bean-counters for you to get the credit you deserve.
    Regards,
    Ric

  43. RE: ralph ellis (07:15:17) :
    The Medieval Era was a golden age.
    ===================================
    Actually it was a golden age … compared with what we are now heading into, namely, The Second Age of Migrations, AKA Dark Age 2.0. (To be technically correct, it was even a golden age compared with Dark Age 1.0 … but that is a discussion for another day …).

  44. I too have incredibly fond memories of the event. I watched it in COLOR on a Quasar TV. Bought with the LIMITED funds my Father (a janitor at a bank) and my Mother (a secretary) could afford. I’m stunned to read all the BRITS who only had B&W TV, but then the Brits tend to be socially and economically about 20 years behind the USA all the time. (SAD, It has to do with their approach to economics, enough said..)
    I was 16 years old. That summer I soloed an aircraft, went to Sweden on an international air Cadet program, and came back determined to become – – –
    an ENGINEER (not an astronaught, misspelling intentional..because of vision problems my chance would be NAUGHT!).
    That I did become.
    Haven’t worked for NASA, but have provided the electric power that runs their operations. It’s a TEAM effort man, whether one wants to admit it or not.) But on that line, just like the comment on Walter and TET, I still wonder WHY W.C. took such GLEE in “fearmongering” about Three Mile Island. I can only attribute a STRONG ANTI CORPORATE attitude (and thinking that power companies, although fundementally “Government regulated”, were private companies and therefore AUTOMATICALLY BAD..and some deep seated adversion to “things we don’t understand”, which made Walter such a KOOK on nuclear power!
    Sad.
    Right on one thing, DEAD wrong on many other things.
    My vote: Don’t make Walter a HERO. Make the “Three” the Heros they are!
    Mark H.

  45. At the time they were calling this the television event of the century. But this was really the pinnacle of human achievement so far, putting humans on another world, and doing it repeatedly. Everything else really pales in comparison when you look at what was required to get it done.

  46. I really feel fortunate, in that I was a thirty-something year old project engineer, working for a NASA contractor in Houston, involved in planning the Gemini and Apollo missions. Neil Armstrong lived a half block away. I remember Buz Aldrin from Gemini planning meetings, where I remember him being a specialist in orbital rendezvous, and a pipe smoker, a habit which I still have, but which he has probably given up. Funny, I can’t remember exactly where I watched the moon landing, but probably in my home. I know I wasn’t in Mission Control.
    I also remember the fantastic splashdown parties that followed each successful mission, and they were all successful, even (and perhaps, especially) Apollo 13, where a fantastic team effort averted what could have been a disaster.
    In the early sixties, I took part in NASA funded studies of prospective manned Mars missions, at the time optimistically projected to occur sometime in the 1980’s.
    I experienced the gradual decline of interest in the space program after Apollo, and made a career shift into engineering/construction for the petro-chemical industry in 1974. I treasure my participation in the space program, but don’t regret the career shift, since I was able to gain a larger degree of personal responsibility and sense of accomplishment in a less beaurocratic environment.
    It’s sad how NASA’s mission has evolved.

  47. I was unfortunately about 8 months from being born at the time of the landing, but I look back at my father’s role in charge of training the astronauts in geology and am very proud of the contribution he made to the moment. The time and effort he and the others put into making the astronauts into good field geologists showed when one of Armstrong’s first actions after the “one small step” statement was to begin describing the properties of the dust he had stepped off into.

  48. The NASA of the past no longer exists today. I was watching a program about all the mishaps which occurred during the flight to the moon. NASA had to improvise and take risks which would never happen today thanks to the precautionary principle.

  49. @ Smokey (07:37:48) :
    Gotta LOVE this stuff:
    But many years later I read a quote by the NVA’s top general and strategist, General Vo Nguyen Giap:
    ”What we still don’t understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi.

    Come on. Why don’t you read some history instead of just listening to conspiracy theories on the radio. This quote, if it is not completely fabricated, is certainly not a representation of Giap’s views. See:
    http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_general_giap.htm
    The moonshot, glorious adventure and technological achievement that it was, was done for ONE reason – To Beat the Russians! Okay, sports are fun and exciting, and we learned some stuff, but is that any way to run a country? If it’s science we’re interested in, and presumably,people who read this blog are, then a lot of robot probes would teach us much more.
    Decadence of our culture indeed! What a lot of claptrap. As a left-liberal total sceptic on AGW, people like the commenters here leave me with a lot of explaining to do , as Ricky Ricard and a Senator Sessions would say.

  50. John Silver (03:56:28) :
    No need to send people to Mars, Spirit and Opportunity are the Neal and Buzz of today.
    Robotics will take over, no return journey needed!
    I disagree, I think one of the fundamental problems with science today, and especially concerning space exploration, is that it has all become an Atari game and humans are no longer personally engaged as they once were. Nothing can replace the acts of “being there”. IMHO…

  51. When I was young I used to lie out on the grass, looking at the night stars, and wondering about going there. Daytimes I read Heinlein and Asimov and a host of other far-sighted authors, and I expected one day I’d be on a ship to Alpha Centauri.
    In 1969 I listened to the Moon landing on a battery-powered short-wave radio in the hills of Nepal. The villagers could not understand the elation I felt.
    I don’t think developing the capacity to live and work in low-Earth orbit is wasted effort, but we have to keep building on it. We have to go back to the Moon, and then to Mars and the Asteroid belt, and to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn—and to the stars as well!
    As Robert Zubrin has written, the free American spirit depends on having a frontier, and the frontier is now in space. He recalls the 14th-century Ming emperor who sent a large fleet across the Indian Ocean, to Africa, only to have the fleet return and find China turning inward, leaving the Age of Exploration to the Europeans. It will be ironic indeed if the United States fails to return to deep space, and instead the Chinese explore the Solar System and beyond.
    Even back in the heyday of the Apollo Program, there were the naysayers who wanted us to “Use the money here at home.” They do not understand the call of the frontier, and the need—and the benefits—of pushing past our boundaries and limitations. The frontier is the direction of progress, and progress benefits all humanity in ways we cannot yet imagine.
    /Mr Lynn

  52. Too bad the little short movie didn’t all come from the live CBS newscast; Armstrong’s one small step speech must have been lifted from the NASA source or somewhere else, because if you were watching that live on CBS, as I was, then Walter Cronkite was yakking about nothing much over the top of Armstron, so you missed what he said.
    You can find the original CBS version in the Apollo 13 movie also.
    Still a great event that most of the public still don’t comprehend.

  53. Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov, van Vogt, Boucher, Del Rey, Wyndham, Bonestell, Sturgeon, Kuttner, Bradbury, Campbell, and others–those who gave me joy when I was young. The payoff seems microscopic: my tiny efforts on the S-IVB when I worked at Douglas Aircraft.
    The books I loved are all gone, now, sold, given away, or turned to brittle, brown flakes with time. Asimov and the others have mostly passed away, but I was there! I was a part of their dream! Thank you, Richard, thank you, Arthur, thank you, Isaac… Thank you all.

  54. Anytime we send mankind into space, it’s an act of bravery, no doubt. I was a young kid watching Walter Cronkite on our TV when Neil stepped on the moon, and I was just a few years older when Walter Cronkite announced NASA canceled the remaining Apollo missions.
    I think that disappointment of the cancellation of the remaining three Apollo missions really changed my outlook on science. I later learned that _putting_ man in space and _getting_ him to the moon was the important part. Doing the actual on-the-ground science was the stuff that very few engineers wanted to continue doing.
    One would think that the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, though flawed, were worth duplicating and tossing a few more of them in the direction of Mars. But the creation of the new rovers, however “shiny” and improved, has cost more than it should and most likely delayed the launch. Tell me, if we had ten more robots exactly like Spirit and Opportunity launched two years after the first two, would we be getting so much science back, the only reason to send mankind to Mars would be like the original Moon mission — a finish line, but not a destination.
    I don’t want men and women to risk their lives for science that can be otherwise be acquired remotely.

  55. Well Sandy, I certainly do see the flawed logic. The same arguments were made, successfully, against the Apollo program and subsequent manned deep space exploration. The technology and techniques to “cure malaria” and to “make sure every child on the planet has clean drinking water” already exists. Heck, the funding to do it already exists. What does not exist is the conditions to allow it to happen. The technology necessary to colonize Mars does not yet exist. But the developments (and political cooperation) necessary to put a permanent human presence on another planet would do much toward achieving those laudable goals, as well as many others. This is something the space program has proven. This spin-off technologies are too numerous to catalog.

  56. ” Steven Kopits (08:56:13) :
    OT:
    Some scientists say human-caused heat, not carbon dioxide, main global warming problem
    http://www.epmag.com/WebOnly2009/item42502.php
    Details about this publication can be found on
    http://www.ltu.se/forskning/1.16009?l=en&pureId=2090518&pureFamily=dk.atira.pure.families.publication.shared.model.Publication
    and the actual peer reviewed document on
    http://pure.ltu.se/ws/fbspretrieve/2090521
    Maybe this article should be featured in one way or the other on WUWT for discussion and review. This is actually quite an interesting view to take and would in some way fit in with Dr Spencer’s view that around 20% of warming could be attributed to AGW CO2 emissions.

  57. “”” Ron de Haan (06:26:35) :
    The biggest and most remarkable and impressing event of the past century. “””
    Well there was that little dust up called WW-II that I believe would upstage the moon landing.
    That’s the problem; today we have the whole world being run by nonentities like Saul Alinski radical Obama; who have not a clue about what happened on this planet from 1939 to 1945.
    Those people were the greatest generation; not the hippies of the 60s who ushered in the space age, and now propagandize the nation’s children.
    I will say one thing for the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo program; it did give us an amazing array of technologies that we normally only develop in wars; and, it didn’t cost us a dime.
    Armstrong beat Kennedy’s timetable to the moon by nearly two years, and the program came in under budget. In the following eight years after Apollo, the US economy saved more than the $38B that the program cost, just in reduced crop losses, in the South Eastern United States; that resulted from improved weather forecasting . That improvement of course was a result of the global weather and communication satellite network that was put up ONLY because we had a MANNED space rogram, and NASA wanted complete and continuous round the world weather and communication coverage.
    With an unmanned robot program, which the “space” scientists wanted; there was no need for either the weather or communications satellites. The development of all of that technology ended up being a total freebie.
    So just how much reward, are we going to reap from the machinations of today’s science and engineering community; my bet is it won’t hold a candle to Mercury/Gemini/Apollo.
    George

  58. Mark Hugoson;-)
    I say steady on, colour tv’s were jolly expensive in those days & we only had one channel in colour, BBC2! Although I point out that it became one of the best colour systems in the world I believe better than NTSC at the time, which was nicknamed by technos over here as “Never Twice the Same Colour”! UK colour tv useage expanded through the early 70’s.
    Yes indeed the Medeival Era was golden, especially in Europe, they had a lot of things back then that we don’t have today in the developed world, like rickets, cholera, malaria, plague, rampant infections & disease, a plethora of poxes of varying unpleasantness, almost continuous wars, brutal oppression, poor nutrition, bad teeth, bad breath, revolting sanitation & hygene, brutal healthcare, no safe transportation without some guy in green tights wanting to charge a Green tax on your dosh, & give it to the poor (allegedly), witchcraft, witch hunting (rugby & cricket handn’t been invented then), limited law & order, brutal legal systems with some interesting forms of punishments, bondage & serfdom, slavery, a flat Earth, & the Sun, stars & planets revolving around it, yes yes things were much better back..
    AND if it wasn’t for the likes of real heros who gazed out of their caves into the distance & dreamed of what could be, we’d still be living in them, hell we’d not even have got down from the trees if Big Al was in charge. After all he & his ilk like to control people don’t they just so that he & they benefit from the suffering (taxing) of others? As I mentioned above, I would like to see that list of inventions that came about because of needs must in the Space Race, e.g. Papermate’s pumping ink pen? I bet I would find a fair few things that have enabled man to reach the depths of the oceans which otherwise may not ever have been possible. Most good or great inventions came about not because of a specific purpose, but as a by-product of other research & design! You’re at A & want to get to Z, you invent B to Y inclusive in the process. Safe clean drinking water for every child is certainly possible, & it is only political will power that prevents this happening – unfortunately until the world replaces some of the more objectionable criminal & brutally oppressive regimes, pocketting trillions in aid, around the world & replace them with open democratic government, to govern some of the countries/regions so afflicted, then this would have occurred yonks ago! This the UN seems rather less keen on achieving & I cannot think why! It rather reminds me of Band Aid in 1985. The rest of the world was angry & upset at this Biblical tragedy in Ethiopia, yet its marxist socialist regime was ordering lots of expensive goodies (including loads of pricey single malt whisky) in readiness to celebrate the governments anniversary! It cared not one jot for its people. 30 years on & nothing has changed except the Sudan has taken Ethiopia’s place, at least for the time being, & the UN did very little.

  59. What came out of the 60s? How much of our current technology came from the 60s? (Aside, of course, from ME, created in the 60s)
    Commercial airliners: 747, 737, 727, L1011, Concorde… Virtually ALL airframe and overall design for modern airliners was done in the late 50s and 60s. New planes are mostly just variations or refinements on the 60s designs.
    Military aircraft: F14, F15, Harrier, (F16, F18 were 70s), C5A Galaxy, C141 Starlifter (B52 first flight was 1959… 50 years ago!!!! and they are still in use). The sum total of military jet design since the 60s has been evolutionary. Stealth technology? Still just tweakage of 50s and 60s designs (although, according to a show I just watched, the Nazis had a very stealthy flying wing in 1945).
    Rocketry: we’re still using ICBMs as launch platforms for satellites, and the vast majority of engineering work was done in the mad rush to the Moon. Show me something new, I’ll be surprised, other than the obvious control electronics (ie. computers). Of course, most people here will be aware that computers were first actually USEFUL in calculating ballistics.
    It is true: humanity has lost its spirit of adventure. Instead of people strapping themselves to giant bombs and riding them up to another sphere, we get excited when the 80th Shuttle flight elevators up to a couple of strapped together cans.
    Robot exploration vs. human exploration is a passionate argument. We need both. For mundane cataloging of the local planets and satellites, sure, send a robot. But to explore, to actually understand and react to what is around, we need people… we need boots on the ground. We need to go to Mars, not just because a person can gather more data, but to spur the development of the technology and spirit required to get there.

  60. It was a relief that the turbulent 1960s came to a close with something as inspiring and wonderful as the moon landing. A divided world was able to hold its collective breath in anxious anticipation for one brief moment.

  61. The NASA of those days, I am sure, would have not dared to say that the sun does not heat the earth but instead you and me when exhaling or driving our cars!….what a peculiar generation we have in these “interesting times”…

  62. I’ve recently been in email contact with Mark Albright of Washington University regarding a kerfuffle on snow pack.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/snowmen/
    It’s a big enough issue that two state climatologists ended up loosing their jobs and Dr. Steig wrote an RC post on it. Now Mark Albright has submitted a paper for publication which shows that snow pack has actually grown in contradiction to the new state climatologists and the governor’s recent letter to washington in support of cap and trade. The paper is receiving some resistance from the reviewers in the Journal of Climatology.
    It might be worth a WUWT repost.

  63. I remember being at the Newport Folk Festival, with the full moon shining large above the stage on a clear night, listening to Joni Mitchell, Arlo Guthrie, James Taylor and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
    We hitch-hiked back to Boston and got a lift with a hippy who invited us into his pad to watch the landing. Those who saw the broadcast will remember the president being patched in to talk to America’s three heroes, and our new friend (who had by now consumed enough pot to be somewhat higher than the astronauts) decided to do likewise and spent the next half an hour trying to persuade the operator in Houston to allow him to talk to them too.
    Unforgettable.

  64. When John Silver has 2 weeks’ summer vacation, does he pack up the car for a trip to the Grand Canyon, the beach, to the mountains… Or does he sit at home and watch National Geographic Channel on his 52″ plasma TV?

  65. For All Mankind.
    The documentary. Watch it and be proud.
    Notice the great bold letters U S A as the behemoth Saturn V rocket lifts the best of this great country into the future.
    Notice the very large US flags worn proudly on their space suits.
    Ask yourself . . . .
    Would this kind of unabashed visible pride in country be permitted today?
    Ask yourself . . .
    Would the words ‘men’ and ‘mankind’ left behind on the plaque be permitted in today’s PC world.?
    Ask yourself . . .
    Do we still have the right stuff?
    If your response is a concerned furrowing of your brow I suspect you’re not alone.
    My admiration for these men and the great country that made their success possible swells my heart to bursting.

  66. I highly recommend the clip posted above by Hi-Sci_Fi – everyone should take ten minutes and watch it.
    It reveals, of course, the far left views that informed his propaganda lo those many years. But it also shows the scale of his world governance goals.
    From another voice, this would seem wildly ambitious and nuts. But we’re talking about a guy who almost single-handedly lost a war. After that, even a mission to convert the world to a Chomsky utopia might seem possible.
    And his space coverage, good as it was, pales in comparison to his other agenda.

  67. red432 (06:01:08) :
    Chris Wright (02:29:27) :
    It is disappointing that America and NASA seemed to lose their way in the decades that followed Apollo. Building up capability for low Earth orbit operations with the ISS and the shuttle was useful and perhaps necessary. But back in the time of Apollo it was almost assumed that we would have men on Mars by the eighties. Now, forty years later, it’s probably even more distant. I’ll probably never see it in my lifetime.
    With that in mind, what could be a better tribute to Neil, Michael and Buzz than an international effort to put men on Mars by 2020?
    How about exploring the oceans properly first or instead? Robots can do much better on Mars than people can. What if something goes wrong 3 weeks out? What if the astronauts go insane? (Some of the space station folks have come close to losing it.) What is the point of putting a fragile hairless ape on a frozen dead planet?
    Going to Mars is very romantic, but there are much better ways to spend our money.
    We could also cure malaria, or just make sure every child on the planet has clean drinking water… sorry to be a spoil sport.
    Red432,
    We can do it all and we are going to do it all.
    Ocean exploration has made a gigantic boost the last 20 years.
    We have the means to cure malaria and we can deliver clean drinking water and energy to every living soul.
    The problem is that there are forces within the UN and our own Governments who don’t want that to happen.
    It’s as clear as that.
    And if any body might believe Obama “Spread the Wealth” and “Greening Society” will change that, forget it.
    Fortunately we see a gigantic boost of private initiative on all levels.
    It is driven by the internet and like the development of aviation, by prizes.
    The most interesting trend we have seen the last 10 years is the private initiative is space flights started with the X-Prize initiative.
    These guys will amaze us (they already do) and bring us to the Moon and to Mars.
    They will do it at a mini budget, they will do it safer and with more passion.
    Another initiative is the 100 mile per gallon car, a race that will be run this year.
    We see private initiatives to bring drinking water to remote places and in the USA, even an evaluation of the surface stations network is undertaken by private initiative.
    Who needs Government? Who needs the UN?
    Screw them.

  68. ralph ellis (07:15:17)
    “It would be more environmentally friendly if we lived in mud huts…”
    You may have stumbled onto a solution for the toilet tissue tax.

  69. I worked directly on several of the Apollo program proposals as a summer intern in the Advanced Development Department of the Liquid Rocket Division of Aerojet General. My most interesting assignment was to calculate the probable temperature of the last fuel to be ejected from the tanks of the lunar excursion module, the concern being that the final bit might freeze in the exit line due to the rapid expansion of the forcing helium on the other side of a flexible membrane. The membrane was to be Teflon, which was brand new at the time so I had to go interview the head chemist to learn about its thermal characteristics. I watched the moon landing on TV the day that I returned to Pensacola as a flight instructor after a deployment to Viet Nam. The 1970s were a real letdown after all the action of the 1960s.

  70. Richard deSousa (10:08:13) :
    I forgot to add that Walter Cronkite was a believer in global warming.

    And I heard the same from Bill O’ Reilly a few days ago.

  71. Patrick Davis (03:36:22) :
    ………………..
    “Via the radio telescope in Parkes, NSW, Australia. The only one big enough and advanced enough to do the job at that time Apparently). And the tower was under great stress due to a storm too, so we all nearly didn’t get to see the event.”
    Yep, I saw the movie “The Dish” with Sam Neill on TV last night. There was drama at radio telescope!

  72. When the Atomic Rocket NERVA project was banned-during the Nixon admin.
    We lost our ability to easily “boldly go”. Think three months to Mars.Think eventually a ride to the nearest star.I for one do not want to study my navel
    and contemplate what I am but to find out who we are.”Why don’t you fellows solve your little problems and light this candle! ” -Astronaut Alan B. Shepard.

  73. @Red 42
    “What is the point of putting a fragile hairless ape on a frozen dead planet?”
    Hmmmm. Fragile?
    I understand your concern.
    But please consider the great men and women who have pushed and fought across daunting frontiers of every kind.
    You and I are products of that courage and tenacity to discover what lies beyond the next ridge or across the vast oceans.
    Often they died.
    As will future explorers.
    But it’s what we wonderful hairless apes do – and frequently quite well.

  74. Steven Kopits (08:56:13) :
    “The study found that the net heat emissions from the industrial age (from 1880 to 2000) correspond to 74% of the earth’s accumulated heat – that is, global warming.”
    Before Steve M put in place his current highly restrictive posting policy I participated actively at Climate Audit, where I made a number of (OMG – speculative) posts regarding this. Anthropogenic Thermal Dissipation, Anthropogenic Surface Albedo Modification, and Irrigation are massive sources of “global warming.” It’s intuitively obvious.

  75. John Ritson (02:13:12) :
    This flight was worth the effort and risk (and CO2 emissions too).

    I believe they use Hydrazine as a combustible and dinitrogen tetroxide as a comburent (Oxygen substitute, why the firefox spell checker doesn’t recognize comburent?) The combustion gases were mainly nitrogen and water.
    A quick google search gives me that they may have been used methyl hydrazine instead of hydrazine, so maybe some CO2 was released after all. methyl hydrazine is more stable than anhydrous hydrazine, that is why they substituted the latter.
    I am for Lunar colonies first rather than going to Mars right away, BTW.
    Happy anniversary!

  76. They did thier job, because Amercians did their job, American leaders did their job, and we all did it well.
    Those 3 performed flawlessly.
    We could do that again.
    All of it.
    Just give us a chance.
    Thanks to the Apollo 11 crew for reminding us of what we are capable of, and what we need to get back to doing again.

  77. Who are those young guys in the photo? It couldn’t have been that long ago.
    What a feat !

  78. I recall being home from university, visiting my mom and dad. That evening, we walked into the back yard, sat down and just stared up at the moon, each alone with our thoughts, united by this historic event.
    It has been my privilege to live during this most interesting time.
    For a moment, let’s take time to think about earlier generations:
    Some of our grandparents lived through the advent of the first automobile, the first aircraft, World War 1, the Great Influenza Epidemic, the Great Depression, World War 2, the Korean conflict, and so on. Some of them even lived long enough to see the first man walk on the moon.
    My grandparents and and my parents’ generation were sensible and strong. In comparison, recent generations have become weak and frivolous.
    Our two latest “crises”, the global warming fraud and the subprime fiasco, are minor in comparison to the very real crises faced by previous generations. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that our parents or grandparents would have been stupid enough to fall for either one.
    It’s time to toughen up and smarten up.
    Some time ago, I wrote this for icecap.us
    I re-post it here as a suggested solution for my friends and neighbours in America.
    Nov 15, 2008
    AN ENERGY STRATEGY FOR AMERICA
    By Allan M.R. MacRae
    The USA has two daunting problems – the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression; and President-Elect Obama’s energy policies, which will severely deepen the economic crisis. Obama stated in a San Francisco Chronicle television interview that he wants to implement an aggressive CO2 cap-and-trade system that could bankrupt coal companies. He further stated that energy prices will necessarily skyrocket. Obama believes that global warming is a critical issue, and he supports the use of solar energy, wind power and biodiesel. To his credit, Obama also supports a market approach and technological development.
    In 2007, US primary energy consumption consisted of oil (40%), natural gas (25%), coal (24%), nuclear (8%) and hydroelectricity (2%). As a percentage of total proved reserves of fossil fuels, the US holds just over 2% of the world’s oil, 3% of natural gas, but almost 29% of global coal. See this:
    Energy projects have been constrained due to fears of catastrophic global warming, allegedly caused by increased atmospheric CO2 from burning fossil fuels. However, global warming is just not happening anymore. For the last decade, average global temperatures have not increased. Since January 2007 all global warming has disappeared, as average temperatures plummeted to 1979 levels – when accurate satellite measurements began.
    Global cooling is now occurring and is expected to continue for the next twenty to thirty years, due to the recent shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from its warm to cool phase. See here:
    and here
    .
    Despite shrill claims of ice cap melting, Arctic sea-ice extent is now at its highest seasonal level since modern satellite measurements began in 2002 – more evidence of global cooling.
    For decades, the US has experienced a huge balance of trade deficit, due primarily to high oil imports. Energy self-sufficiency has been the goal of recent US Presidents, without success. There is now an opportunity to address both these serious challenges, by rejecting global warming myths and creating an energy strategy based on true, verifiable facts. Here is the outline of a responsible and economic Energy Strategy for America:
    1. Reject CO2 taxes and cap-and-trade measures used to “fight global warming”. Examine the satellite data, the only accurate global temperature measurements in existence. Climate Dyslexics please note: The Earth is cooling, not warming. Global cooling should last for twenty to thirty years and could be severe.
    2. Generate much more electrical energy from abundant US coal reserves. Use existing technologies to control real atmospheric pollution from SOx, NOx and particulates, but do not control CO2. In the future, if CO2 sequestration becomes economically attractive (for enhanced oil recovery) or is proved necessary (in the unlikely event that global warming becomes a real problem), retrofit the coal plants with expensive CO2 recovery equipment at that time.
    3. As rechargeable battery technology continues to improve, electric and gasoline-electric light vehicles will become commonplace. The power infrastructure already exists to fuel this fleet, and refueling can be done during off-peak periods, when power plants are underutilized. This major change in the light vehicle fleet will shift energy consumption from foreign oil to domestic coal.
    4. Re-examine corn ethanol and wind power, which do not work economically or effectively. Corn ethanol for motor fuel requires huge ongoing subsidies and severely distorts food prices. Wind power also requires big subsidies, and almost 100% backup with conventional power generation. Wind power can also cause critical instabilities in the electric power grid. Conduct a full-life-cycle energy balance on corn ethanol, wind power, biodiesel and solar energy, and also examine the environmental demands and pollution associated with these so-called “green” technologies.
    5. Re-examine hydrogen. It is an energy medium, like electricity, but if implemented would require a huge new hydrogen infrastructure to be built at great cost, for no environmental or energy gain.
    6. Avoid energy subsidies, especially ongoing operating subsidies, which distort economic decisions and create expensive industrial and environmental boondoggles. Wind power and corn ethanol may prove to be two such costly mistakes.
    Instead of skyrocketing energy prices, this Energy Strategy for America will result in lower costs, improved balance of trade, and in time could even provide energy self-sufficiency for the USA.
    Allan M.R. MacRae is a Professional Engineer and writer on energy and the environment. In 2002 he predicted in a newspaper article that global cooling would recur. He does not work in the coal industry, accepts no compensation for his writing and holds no coal investments.

  79. 40 years ago…my god…I feel old!
    Well done to all involved, wish something similar was going on today instead of all this AGW crap!
    Freezing cold once again in wet England!

  80. red432 (06:01:08) :
    Going to Mars is very romantic, but there are much better ways to spend our money.
    We could also cure malaria, or just make sure every child on the planet has clean drinking water… sorry to be a spoil sport.
    You haven’t spoiled anything sport. Someone will probably use a
    computer, like you’re using on this post, to solve these problems.

  81. @Ric Locke (08:24:30) : you got the accountants right. I HATE bean counters.
    @ Walt Stone (09:32:38) : quote I don’t want men and women to risk their lives for science that can be otherwise be acquired remotely. end quote
    I don’t care what you want; any more than you seem to care what I want. And I WANT TO GO. So will people like you please STOP telling us that your opinion about what risks WE decide take is more important than our right to CHOSE to take risks.
    Between bean counters & the nannies the US’s lead has been squandered and MY right to apply to go into space has been taken from me.
    I was 15 at the time; I beleive(d) in Science and Engineering. The spoilers have killed not just the NASA that put men on the moon but so many other achievements – like killing fConcorde; Nuclear Power; and Man’s ambitions.
    So who does this UK citizen sue for breach of promise ? Because the US in 1969 PROMISED a world of opportunity and hope; and the bean counters & nannies have locked us in the kindergarten; the one lot because they do not understand investment; and the others because they are scared of anything new and different.
    Thank you to all those in the NASA and the US of the 60’s who were allowed to create a dream; if only for a fleeting moment!

  82. I watched the landing in my living room at Holloman AFB, NM. I was a 23-YO NCO. My wife and 2-YO daughter watched with me. I will never forget that day.
    For the nay-sayers that are harping about “waste”, consider: Everyone can look up at the stars, but only a very few ever look into the depth of the oceans, or all the other mentioned “science”. The stars and space fascinate everyone, not just a few. The science needed to put a man on the moon led to the very advances we use today in commemorating this event on our home computers, and so very much more.
    Perhaps if we’d followed up landing on the moon by actually building and inhabiting a lunar-based observatory, we’d learned enough about the sun to kill “global warming” in the very beginning.

  83. Allan M R MacRae (12:24:19)
    “Wind power also requires big subsidies, and almost 100% backup with conventional power generation. Wind power can also cause critical instabilities in the electric power grid.”
    No longer, given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.
    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/grid-scale-energy-storage-flywheel.html

  84. When I was a small boy in Ohio, I used to look up at the night sky often and want to travel to the stars. Neil Armstrong was one of my heroes. Count me in for a big Thank You to Neil, Michael and Buzz.
    Andrew

  85. “No longer, given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.”
    As advertised gets greenie dream dollars but it won’t work. Like windmills compared to the Moon Landings it will stand as a monument to the true childishness of this, my generation.

  86. DonK31 (10:15:41) :
    “When John Silver has 2 weeks’ summer vacation, does he pack up the car for a trip to the Grand Canyon, the beach, to the mountains… Or does he sit at home and watch National Geographic Channel on his 52″ plasma TV?”
    Not comparable.
    Risk management and cost-benefit analysis tells me stay home.
    It’s all about bang/buck and avoid cruelty to animals.

  87. Re CodeTech (09:56:32)
    Anorak Pedant here, B52’s first flight was 15th April 1952, 6 years after the contracts were signed. A mighty achievement.

  88. jeez, I’ve read several comments (on other fora) that the 30 GW is a typo. I’m guessing they are aiming for 30 GWhr, as that makes more sense from an engineering viewpoint.
    Sandy, these guys at Power Tree are not newbies. As a famous American* said, this is not their first rodeo. Give them some time, let them build this and see how it turns out. You may be eating those words!
    While this is not in the same league as landing on the Moon and returning safely (few things are!), it is a highly significant breakthrough in the renewable energy field.
    * Famous American = George W. Bush

  89. Science fiction scenario:
    What is it the organization to which all who defend these “peculiar” ideas of GW, CCH, GHGs, cold sun, world government, belong to?
    If such a kind of organization exists, it must be recruiting not so clever and easy to drive people, cheating them they are wise and that only wise men “as they are”, are supposed to rule the earth…and will do it…
    But as in any conspiracy story they are not expected to survive after being to close to knowing the “truth”, so…beware..
    🙂

  90. @Urederra:
    “I believe they use Hydrazine as a combustible and dinitrogen tetroxide as a comburent (Oxygen substitute, why the firefox spell checker doesn’t recognize comburent?) The combustion gases were mainly nitrogen and water.
    A quick google search gives me that they may have been used methyl hydrazine instead of hydrazine”.
    Yes it was 50/50 Hydrazine and Unsymmetrical Dimethyl Hydrazine with dinitrogen tetroxide

  91. I remember gathering around the TV set to watch the launch, and at the time we were living in a rental, and the owner had hired a couple of guys to paint the house. My mom had me go outside and ask them to come in so they would not miss it, and they watched with us.
    Then, several nights later my dad came in, woke us, and had us come out to watch the landing and walk. I’ll never forget any of it.

  92. >>>No longer, given a recent breakthrough in energy storage
    >>>via high-speed flywheels.
    A power storage company that does not know the difference between GW and GWhr, and a website that has gone missing. Output from 30 power stations in one flywheel! Tosh tosh and more tosh.
    .
    Back to the thread, though, the young lads in our junior school were all herded into the assembly hall, and we watched the landing on a surprisingly wide-screen telly. I thought it was just a film for a while, but was eventually persuaded it was for real.
    The mission nurtured a new generation, a better generation who looked forward with hope for both technology and mankind. Why we then went backwards, I still have not figured out.
    .

  93. Roger Sowell (13:16:28) :
    Allan M R MacRae (12:24:19)
    “Wind power also requires big subsidies, and almost 100% backup with conventional power generation. Wind power can also cause critical instabilities in the electric power grid.”
    No longer, given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.
    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/grid-scale-energy-storage-flywheel.html
    This is an “old cow” Roger.
    A lot of investments are made in high speed flywheel energy storgage, also in cars, and they all have been terminated.
    But I really hope this one becomes a success.

  94. Roger Sowell (13:50:39) :
    jeez, I’ve read several comments (on other fora) that the 30 GW is a typo. I’m guessing they are aiming for 30 GWhr, as that makes more sense from an engineering viewpoint.

    Does it really work? I am trying to access their webpage by clicking at the link in your blog, but all I got is a “404 page load error”. I am reading the wikipedia entry about flywheel storage and my common sense tells me that this thing may lose energy via friction quite rapidly. I guess that is why vacuum and magnetic fields are needed.
    BTW, a brother of mine works as an engineer at Gamesa, a Spanish Wind turbines manufacturer. Have you heard about this company? I think it is part of Iberdrola and they are building this huge wind farm in Scotland.

  95. By courtesy of the American Embassy in Lusaka we in Zambia were able to watch, live, this incredible event. The TV only station in the country came on-air especially for this.
    My parents insisted that we watched. I’m so glad that they did. I cannot see the Nation which put those men on the Moon doing anything anywhere near comprable now.
    The whole world is mired in a risk averse, politically correct, green agenda driven mire. We have ceased to progress.

  96. Errata “Science fiction scenario”: where “to close” it must be read “too close”
    ….and following this scenario: chances are that there are many “not to blame” freaks….but what about their master minds?.
    All the prophets, for sure, are but freaks…

  97. Roger Sowell (13:16:28) :
    Allan M R MacRae (12:24:19) said:
    “Wind power also requires big subsidies, and almost 100% backup with conventional power generation. Wind power can also cause critical instabilities in the electric power grid.”
    Roger said:
    No longer, given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.
    *************
    Hope you are right Roger, but will not hold my breath.
    Here is another such idea which I proposed in March 2008 in an email to Benny Peiser:
    Hi Benny,
    Re Robert Bryce’s idea of a “superbattery”.
    First, I know a fair bit about energy and agree with Bryce’s views on corn ethanol. I had a corn ethanol plant in Wyoming in the 1990’s. The energy input to produce such fuel often equals or even exceeds the energy output when the fuel is consumed. Hence the foolishness of such technology, and the need for huge subsidies. Also there is the water consumption issue.
    Wind power suffers greatly from the lack of a superbattery and requires almost 100% conventional backup. However I am not convinced that anything, even a superbattery, will save wind power from being a total boondoggle.
    Nuclear energy also suffers for lack of a superbattery, since nuclear plants reportedly are not easy to ramp up and down, even overnight. I expect that even large coal-fired plants are somewhat inflexible in this regard. Natural gas-fired plants are most flexible for providing peaking power.
    Back to the superbattery:
    If a significant percentage of the vehicle fleet were (over time) powered by electric motors and batteries, which could be refueled overnight during non-peak periods, this would significantly level-out electricity demand. Added benefits would include significantly lower urban air pollution. Adequate batteries exist today, but are not inexpensive, and there is always room for continued technological improvement.
    My “guess” is that moving in this direction would be vastly more beneficial for society than the current governmental mania to subsidize wind power and ethanol-from-food, both expensive boondoggles that produce no energy benefits and cause significant societal and environmental damage.
    Just a thought…
    Best regards, Allan

  98. I was a 21 year old Kiwi living in Bondi, Sydney and watched the event live, (it was a delayed telecast back in NZ) . My 2 flatmates (JH from Minnesota, and AH from NZ) and I were enthralled.
    As the song says…those were the best days of my life…

  99. Funny thing, I don’t remember the science being done by “consensus”. Bad memory, I guess…
    Best,
    Frank

  100. “Sandy, these guys at Power Tree are not newbies. As a famous American* said, this is not their first rodeo. Give them some time, let them build this and see how it turns out. You may be eating those words!”
    Or they may be eating tax payers dollars.
    30GW is a measure of power so for how long can they give that power reliably to a grid? An hour or less makes this an expensive bauble.
    What is the efficiency? So if I pump in 10GWhr of electricity how much can I claim back, 5GWhr would be a technical achievement but still represents 50% waste.
    How long can the energy be ‘stored’? If I put in energy now how much will be lost in a week, a month?
    These questions, though easily calculable will not be answered rather like the GISS dataset corrections because they will give away holes in the engineering. Expect plenty of puff pieces about how it ‘solves the problem of renewable energy’ and bugrall figures. The only figure given so far has the wrong units!
    This is a subsidy cash-cow just like windfarms and a downright hindrance to an adult approach to power generation.
    If you don’t get grumpy as you get older then you aren’t paying attention.

  101. Thank not only Neil, Buzz and Mike but the hundreds of thousands of others who “fashioned cold refined steel into the dreams of spaceflight” as the song goes.
    And gave their lives along the way. It wasn’t only astronauts who died.

  102. “”” AN ENERGY STRATEGY FOR AMERICA
    By Allan M.R. MacRae
    5. Re-examine hydrogen. It is an energy medium, like electricity, but if implemented would require a huge new hydrogen infrastructure to be built at great cost, for no environmental or energy gain. “””
    Yes tell us where your hydrogen mines are located. The only ones I know of are 93 million miles away, and the mine working conditions don’t meet OSHA safety standards.
    Why do people keep pushing hydrogen as a new source of energy?

  103. Super fly wheels have been around for a long time. Why haven’t we seen more of them? If they were so good I’d expect utilities to be using them for load leveling now.
    Windmills are pathetic at the best of times, add the capex of super flywheels and what will they look like?
    The anti nukes will clutch at any straws I guess.

  104. Roger Sowell (13:16:28) :
    given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.
    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/grid-scale-energy-storage-flywheel.html

    “Round and round went the bloody great wheel
    In and out went the prick of steel”
    Sounds fun. What are they going to construct these from?

  105. urederra, and ralph ellis, the weblinks work ok for me…I’m using Google Chrome. Power Tree Corp’s website is http://powertreecorp.com/
    @ralph ellis, tosh, and tosh? How about waiting to see if these guys can produce, before bashing them a prioi? Why not wait for the measured data on their apparatus? They may fail. Or not. Even if they fail, they may learn a key point that produces future success. Or not. In any event, these guys out of Boca Raton, Florida, USA, are in the game, giving it their best shot. Sorta like three American heroes pictured at the top of this blog entry. Not whining “it can’t be done” and casting stones from the sidelines.
    Sandy and others, high-speed flywheels work and work quite well, and have done so for several years. A patent attorney friend wrote the patent for one (but not for Patent Tree Corp) just a couple of years ago. The patent is US 7,187,08. The abstract reads:
    A flywheel system incorporates a variable speed synchronous reluctance motor-generator and a variable speed permanent magnet generator for providing backup power. Rotating elements are supported by electromagnetic bearings and electric power provided by the backup generator maintains electromagnetic bearing operation during that portion of a coast down period when shaft speed falls below the minimum speed required for operation of the synchronous reluctance motor-generator.”
    What is new about the Power Tree offering is the large size, and apparently the increased time of useful discharge.
    Disclaimer: I have zero interest in Power Tree Corp., and do not now represent nor have I in the past represented Power Tree Corp. I do hold a small position of common stock in a battery company, Ener1 (ticker HEV).
    I also wrote a bit about the Grand Game changing as a result of the Power Tree Corp. flywheel, if it is indeed successful.
    http://energyguysmusings.blogspot.com/2009/07/opec-reaction-to-energy-storage-systems.html

  106. I have to be happy for the crew of three making it to the moon, because, doing the math, I can be pretty sure that my parents were celebrating that night.
    In short, without Apollo 11, I wouldn’t exist.

  107. Mike Borgelt,
    Re high-speed flywheels, and not seeing more of them.
    First, they do work, but are expensive. The limit for large sizes is the strength of the material of the rotating element. As the diameter increases, centrifugal force (or is it centripetal? I can’t recall) increases so that the flywheel literally flies apart. One solution was to make tall, narrow flywheels. This has obvious disadvantages.
    Another drawback is friction, which is reduced greatly by using magnetic bearings, while some use air bearings. Some place the rotating element in a vacuum chamber to reduce friction further.
    What is desired is a rotating element with great mass (power goes up as mass increases), rotating at very high speed (100,000 rpm or so) because power also increases as rotating speed increases, that maintains dimensional integrity (does not fly apart), has very low friction and thus parasitic losses (hence the air bearing or magnetic bearing plus vacuum chamber), and is controllable to absorb excess grid power and release a very high percentage of the stored power back into the grid upon demand.
    As with the Apollo program 40 years ago, today’s engineers are solving these problems. I applaud these engineers. I grew up in Houston in the 1960s and well remember the excitement of having astronauts among us. If anyone has not seen the movie The Right Stuff, it is worth seeing. It really was that exciting, as depicted in the movie. I went to a Boy Scouts summer camp with one of Gus Grissom’s sons, in 1968. The “can do” attitude from that era and those men and women was infectious. It instilled in me (and many of my friends), the will to never give up even when faced with a temporary setback.

  108. I was one and a half years old at the time. Watching this event on the tv is the earliest experience I can remember in this life. I grew up watching Apollo and Skylab, watching the politicians gut the space program to pay for bread and circuses (the failed War on Poverty) to get reelected. I had hoped Reagan had relit the fire in the 80’s, despite the shuttle contracting being let out primarily based on congressional district, with a deficient design, then Challenger happened and it got mired in lawyers, nay saying reporters, and continuous corruption among the politicos. We’d hoped X-33 would lead to the venture star, but it was intentionally screwed up to “prove” the impossibility of SSTO RLVs. Then Bush cancelled GTX and every other air breathing, high density fuel, and RLV related program and took us back to the 60’s as a payoff to Cheney’s ICBM-Industrial Complex in Wyoming with the Constellation program.
    Government space is an utter failure and people need to recognise that. If we are going to make space travel by the common man as common as airliner travel, the whole program should be put out to X-Prize type competitions with prizes and contracts as awards for the winners of every category of contract. Then create a national space lottery, awarding orbital flight tickets as prizes in lieu of cash, with half the revenues going to pay the prize money to the winning contractors.

  109. Damn.
    Thanks for posting that video, Anthony – I’m sitting here blubbering like an idiot watching it.
    I was 11 years old, and was driving back from vacation with the parental units somewhere north of Austin. I remember that we were listening on the radio, and stopped at a roadside hotel to watch.
    Later I remember the drive home, and I was gazing up at the moon, full of the wonder of it all.

  110. Roger Sowell:

    What is desired is a rotating element with great mass (power goes up as mass increases), rotating at very high speed (100,000 rpm or so) because power also increases as rotating speed increases, that maintains dimensional integrity (does not fly apart), has very low friction and thus parasitic losses (hence the air bearing or magnetic bearing plus vacuum chamber), and is controllable to absorb excess grid power and release a very high percentage of the stored power back into the grid upon demand.

    IIRC, you are describing the Lockheed proposal for a new passenger bus engine. The flywheel was supposed to run at 100,000 RPM. It would use brake generators to spin up the flywheel while going down hill or braking, then use the flywheel’s power as needed.
    The Lockheed model never made it to production. As I recall, one of the objections was what would happen if a heavy flywheel turning at 100,000 RPM was let loose in a crash, to go spinning down city streets.
    But I do remember the Lockheed proposal, so this idea has been around for at least 15 – 20 years.

  111. Just a few days shy of my 21st birthday, I watched the landing on the black and white TV in the main lecture theatre of the Australian National University in Canberra. I’d like to live to see the Mars landings.
    Ciao

  112. tallbloke (16:14:31) :
    Roger Sowell (13:16:28) :
    given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.
    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/grid-scale-energy-storage-flywheel.html
    “Round and round went the bloody great wheel
    In and out went the prick of steel”
    Sounds fun. What are they going to construct these from?
    tallbloke:
    Depleted Uranium, what else?

  113. “Alan the Brit (09:49:01) :
    Mark Hugoson;-)
    It rather reminds me of Band Aid in 1985. The rest of the world was angry & upset at this Biblical tragedy in Ethiopia, yet its marxist socialist regime was ordering lots of expensive goodies (including loads of pricey single malt whisky) in readiness to celebrate the governments anniversary! It cared not one jot for its people. 30 years on & nothing has changed except the Sudan has taken Ethiopia’s place, at least for the time being, & the UN did very little.”
    Well, everything else in your post was very well put however, I am afraid the rest of it about Ethiopia is not entirely accurate. Yes, while many starved (And to be honest many actually didn’t – you saw only what the media wanted you to see) and the corrupt govn’t did plunder, and still is, the money donated however, lots of money did get through to where it was needed and is still workng there.
    However, what I see happening there now is large multinationals, with Govn’t approval (Bribes) of course, are raping the land of it’s natural resources and in returrn building token infrastructure projects for example, in one are of the city there is a road which literally goes nowhere, about 3-4 kms long, built by the Chinese in return for some mining rights.
    Fortunatly for their president, he’s in exile. Unfortunately for most people, he’s still in power, stopped people sending text messages (Yes, a country of contrasts. Mud huts, with power meters, right next to bright new shining cellphone transmitter masts), killed oposittion leaders in 2005 and has most of the police and army in his back pocket.
    PS. No disrespect, I have been to and lived in Ethiopia serveral times over the years, my wife is Ethiopian and we married there too. If ever you want a reality checkspend a few weeks there (Or anywhere in Africa/India really).

  114. “The Apollo 11 moon landing is not the only significant space anniversary that falls this week. It is also 15 years since fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet smashed into Jupiter, in July 1994, giving astronomers a first-hand look at the devastation that follows such cosmic collisions.
    With uncanny timing, a similar impact event seems to have happened again. On Sunday, an amateur astronomer named Anthony Wesley observed a strange black blob on the surface of Jupiter. When he alerted Nasa professionals, they confirmed that it indeed appears to have been caused by another impact event.”
    Jupiter’s cosmic smash: what does it mean for Earth?
    http://timesonline.typepad.com/science/2009/07/jupiters-cosmic-smash-what-does-it-mean-for-earth.html
    Will a Killer Asteroid Hit the Earth?
    “When it comes to asteroids’ wreaking disaster on Earth, the real question is not if, but when.
    If you want to get contemporary on a geological scale, of course it was only 49,000 years ago that an iron asteroid blasted out Arizona’s 34-mile-wide Meteor Crater, almost certainly killing any living creatures for hundreds of miles around. And as recently as 1908, a small, rocky asteroid or chunk of a comet exploded five miles above the Tunguska region of Siberia, felling trees, starting fires and killing wildlife over an area of more than 1,000 sq. mi. Had the blast, now estimated at tens of megatons, occurred over New York City or London, hundreds of thousands would have died.
    And what about near misses? As recently as 1996, an asteroid about a third of a mile wide passed within 280,000 miles of Earth < a hairbreadth by astronomical standards. It was the largest object ever observed to pass that close, and had it hit, would have caused an explosion in the 5,000-to-12,000-megaton range. What was particularly unnerving about this flyby is that the asteroid was discovered ONLY FOUR DAYS before it hurtled past Earth. All the more reason for a detection system that will discover asteroids early, plot their paths and predict, many years in advance, whether they will eventually threaten Earth. "
    "The Apollo asteroid 2007 TU24 approached Earth on January 29, 2008 with a distance of 1.4 LD (lunar distance), or 450,000 km, with an estimated size between 300-600 meters. It may be the closest asteroid to pass Earth until 2027."
    "So far, 1,008 NEOs larger than 140 meters have been found that come within 4.5 million miles of the Earth's orbit and are thus classified as potentially hazardous objects because they may be perturbed into impacting trajectories in the future."
    http://impact.arc.nasa.gov/news_detail.cfm?ID=39
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-Earth_object
    NASA Near Earth Object Program http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/

  115. Ron de Haan, tallbloke,
    Actually, I heard somewhere that they are being crafted from di-lithium crystal.
    One only hopes they can stand the strain!

  116. George E. Smith (09:48:17) :
    “”” Ron de Haan (06:26:35) :
    The biggest and most remarkable and impressing event of the past century. “””
    Well there was that little dust up called WW-II that I believe would upstage the moon landing.
    That’s the problem; today we have the whole world being run by nonentities like Saul Alinski radical Obama; who have not a clue about what happened on this planet from 1939 to 1945.
    Those people were the greatest generation; not the hippies of the 60s who ushered in the space age, and now propagandize the nation’s children.
    I will say one thing for the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo program; it did give us an amazing array of technologies that we normally only develop in wars; and, it didn’t cost us a dime.
    Armstrong beat Kennedy’s timetable to the moon by nearly two years, and the program came in under budget. In the following eight years after Apollo, the US economy saved more than the $38B that the program cost, just in reduced crop losses, in the South Eastern United States; that resulted from improved weather forecasting . That improvement of course was a result of the global weather and communication satellite network that was put up ONLY because we had a MANNED space rogram, and NASA wanted complete and continuous round the world weather and communication coverage.
    With an unmanned robot program, which the “space” scientists wanted; there was no need for either the weather or communications satellites. The development of all of that technology ended up being a total freebie.
    So just how much reward, are we going to reap from the machinations of today’s science and engineering community; my bet is it won’t hold a candle to Mercury/Gemini/Apollo.
    George
    George,
    You are 100% correct but I don’t regard the second World War as an “inspiring technological uplifting party” although I realize that the US Space Program that resulted in a manned moon landing never would have taken place if Von Braun had not build rockets for the NAZI’s and there would not have been a Cold War triggering a Space Race.
    I regard the Second World War, despite the gigantic boost in technological development, as a major setback.
    So I rather cherish the memories of the epic venture of the Apollo 11 flight that inspired so many people.
    The main reason of it’s impact was that it coincided with a mass medium called television.
    My admiration goes out to all the pioneers, Americans as well as Russians or any other nationality, who went out and risked their necks to cross borders human kind did not pass before.
    The Apollo 11 flight gave the world an incredible power boost and confidence in the future. We were going for the stars and nothing was impossible.
    Today we live in a time where a person with an idea is treated like an idiot and humanity has become a threat for the planet.
    I would like to see the return of the “We can do anything and everything will be all right” spirit (not Obama’s “Yes we can” BS).
    All those who witnessed the Moon Landing know what I am talking about.
    Many people today are poisoned and blinded by all the bad news and negativism or severely misinformed.
    Today I draw inspiration a.o from the X-Prize initiatives where you can still find the same spirit that propelled the Space Program, this great blog and my private activities with aircraft and engines.
    The spirit is still there, but sometimes you have to look long and good to find it.

  117. Smokey (07:37:48) :
    This is a wonderful thread! I love hearing the stories about where folks were when they watched the moon landings, especially from posters in other countries.

    Purakanui (02:13:29) :
    I was a new lecturer at London University at the time. I’ll never forget the ’60s in London. I was a new student in London at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. As Kennedy’s deadline approached the sound of warplanes climbing up from airbases around he city seemed to be everywhere. My girlfriend at the time cried because she thought we were going to die in a nuclear war…

    People today don’t realize how close the world came to nuclear war.
    I was a 19-year old kid in Viet Nam during Apollo 11, watching it on our base’s single 19 inch B&W TV set. A million things could have gone wrong; computers — what there were of them — still used lots of vacuum tubes/valves. The trip itself was astonishingly risky.
    One of the old timers watching the moon landing with us at our base [Tuy Hoa] told us he’d been stationed in Taiwan during the Cuban missile crisis. He said they had loaded each aircraft with “atom bombs.” I asked him why [since Russia was the main enemy back then, at least in the eyes of a naive young 19-year old kid].
    He told us that we were going to take out both Russia and China, because communism was the enemy. He told us that the Taiwan F-100 fighters were each loaded with 2 atomic bombs, and three extra fuel tanks. The pilots were not expected to return.
    I remember during the Tet offensive when Walter Cronkite declared the war lost.
    But many years later I read a quote by the NVA’s top general and strategist, General Vo Nguyen Giap:
    ”What we still don’t understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi. You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the battles of TET. You defeated us! We knew it, and we thought you knew it.
    ”But we were elated to notice your media was definitely helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!”
    Yes, we had won. But like Hannibal at the gates of Rome, we blinked.
    And we found out the “domino effect” was true. Burma [now Myanmar] is still ruled by brutal communist dictators. The Cambodian killing fields were a direct consequence of our misunderstanding of the last gasp of the North Vietnamese military’s loss in the Tet offensive.
    The loss of the Vietnam war can be laid directly at the feet of the propagandists in the media, with their constant drumbeat of defeatism, 24/7/365 — the same self-centered, elite media that constantly beats the AGW drum today.
    The results of the media’s false AGW propaganda will be every bit as disastrous as the results of misinforming the citizenry of who really won the Tet offensive.

    Smokey,
    Thanks for the story.
    Screw the communists and the “New Russia”.
    Screw our retarded politicians.
    You are right.
    If we come to a climate agreement we will open the door for the enemy to march through the front door on a voluntary basis.
    We have to kill the entire AGW hoax before it kills us.

  118. Dave (11:14:32) :
    Actually, all of NASA, including Neil, Buzz and Mike, owes thanks to the American taxpayer.
    Not true Dave, the US Space Program made money, a lot of money.
    It did not cost the US taxpayer a single dime.
    Read Smokey (07:37:48)

  119. Dave (11:14:32) :
    Actually, all of NASA, including Neil, Buzz and Mike, owes thanks to the American taxpayer.
    Not true Dave, the US Space Program made money, a lot of money.
    It did not cost the US taxpayer a single dime.
    Sorry, it was George E. Smith (09:48:17) :

  120. No-one has mentioned Werhner von Braun yet, or is that too sensitive a subject still?

  121. Re: Inventions by NASA.
    Someone above expressed an interest in seeing a list of inventions from the Apollo/Gemini/Mercury programs. I could not easily find such a list, but I did find this.
    Below is a link to the U.S. Patents since 1976 issued to (assigned to) NASA. There are 742 items on the list as of July 21, 2009. The USPTO database is not as easily searched before 1976.
    Also, many private companies and individuals invented wonderful things in those days and may not have been required to assign their inventions to NASA. Those are not on the list.
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.htm&r=0&f=S&l=50&d=PTXT&OS=AN/“National+Aeronautics+and+Space+Administration”&RS=AN/”National+Aeronautics+and+Space+Administration”&Query=AN/”National+Aeronautics+and+Space+Administration”&TD=742&Srch1=(“National+Aeronautics+and+Space+Administration”.ASNM.)&NextList15=Final+42+Hits

  122. Patrick Davis (19:23:55) :
    “No-one has mentioned Werhner von Braun yet, or is that too sensitive a subject still?”
    Patrick Davis, read: Ron de Haan (18:55:32) :
    I have mentioned Von Braun in relation to the German V-Program.
    Without the genius of Von Braun and his rocket technology there would not have been a V-weapon program in Germany and no successful US Space Program.
    He was lucky to survive the war, lucky he was not prosecuted in Neurenburg,
    lucky to continue his rocket development in the USA and lucky the Cold War triggered a Space Race.
    We were all lucky he was not deported to the USSR.
    I am sure a lot of people who experienced the effects of his V1 and later his V2 have a different opinion. The same goes for the prisoners who worked under extreme conditions on his program.
    But it was war and we are lucky that he was on the side that lost the war.
    So in short: Briliant and successful rocket scientist who was very, very, very lucky.
    His big disappointment came in the end when the Space Program was terminated and budgets were reduced. He had great plans for a permanent Moon Base and all the plans ready for a flight to Mars.

  123. Worlds grow old and suns grow cold
    And death we never can doubt.
    Time’s cold wind, wailing down the past,
    Reminds us that all flesh is grass
    And history’s lamps blow out.
    But the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
    Time won’t drive us down to dust again.
    Cycles turn while the far stars burn,
    And people and planets age.
    Life’s crown passes to younger lands,
    Time brushes dust of hope from his hands
    And turns another page.
    But the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
    Time won’t drive us down to dust again.
    But we who feel the weight of the wheel
    When winter falls over our world
    Can hope for tomorrow and raise our eyes
    To a silver moon in the opened skies
    And a single flag unfurled.
    But the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
    Time won’t drive us down to dust again.
    We know well what Life can tell:
    If you would not perish, then grow.
    And today our fragile flesh and steel
    Have laid our hands on a vaster wheel
    With all of the stars to know
    That the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
    Time won’t drive us down to dust again.
    From all who tried out of history’s tide,
    Salute for the team that won.
    And the old Earth smiles at her children’s reach,
    The wave that carried us up the beach
    To reach for the shining sun.
    For the Eagle has landed; tell your children when.
    Time won’t drive us down to dust again.

  124. Let me start by joining in to exclaim admiration and awe of the crew of Apollo 11, and all the rest of folks involved in putting together all of the space missions that led to men on the moon – the culmination of the development of human civilization.
    Now, if the “environmentalists” would kick the agwers to the curb (that would have to be the next greatest achievement) and – ok, that would be enough.
    Wow, now I take pause. I must strongly object to Anthony’s co-starring WC with Michael, Buzz and Neal. I therefore strongly object to Lichanos, also. WC proved himself worthy of being ostrasized by not expressing any remorse, for whatever reason, for declaring the Vietnam War lost after TET. Not being military I herein apologize to those who have been and are for falling for WC’s, at best, incompetence and lack of sympathy for our military when I was 16 and for years following. I have been regretting my gullibility for over ten years.
    As for Lichanos, some subjectives will never allow themselves to expand their understanding of some matters. Vietnam was lost for several reasons, but absolutely the media (including WC) played a major part in forging opinion against U.S. Military (ie: to the point of people defacing recruiting stations, assaulting, harming and demeaning soldiers and veterans, bombing sites, threatening civilians, etc.).
    What Giap said, exactly, is not important (although what Lichanos’ link quoted reinforced Smokey’s point) – the development and history of the war, the war’s reporting, domestic interpretations and reactions to the reporting and the documented consequences.
    Astronauts volunteer for their life threatening service and are justifiably glorified. Servicemen (non- astronauts military) similarly risk and inconvenience their lives for the country and are just as deserving of our respect. WC, to his dishonor, did not equate the two and I can not honor WC.
    I do, of course, regret the loss of the tens of thousands of U.S. personnel, the million plus S. Vietnamese, those manipulated N. Vietnamese, etc. in that debacle largely worsened by the S. Viet politicians and leaders as well as those of the north.
    Back to Space: how can we think of pursuing any space exploration when so many believe ‘we have to spend our way out of bankruptcy’ Joe Biden and ‘don’t let them read the bills’ Barack Obama, as well as so many “believing” the religion of AGW being globally threatening while those AGWers in fact DO threaten human existence on Earth.
    While having been a biophysics research scientist/engineer I believe we, just as importantly, must immediately emphasize also educating citizens and children in economics and finance while we refine exploration plans and means. Space elevators, private space travel, etc. should speed things along greatly.
    Thank you for your indulgence.

  125. I don’t know about the rest of you but when they landed on the moon, we held our breath. It was a feeling inside of,fear, happy, wonder, pride all mixed together. We as a nation had pulled together and accomplished what no man had done before. Its like being a caver or explorer… wanting to be the first footprint in a place. I watched the Mars rover land and while cool, it lacked that feeling that I had when Man set foot on the moon.
    We hear all of the time, Planet Earth is getting too crowded. We have a choice here folks. We can stay sequestered in our little corner of the universe or we can go out and explore, make outposts, and let humanity keep growing. The alternative is population control, decreasing resources and eventual stagnation. Yes we should go into space. Not today, but soon. Yes we should go explore, because it is one of the things man does the best. we over come problems and make things work, just like they did when we landed on the moon. It wasn’t perfect, but we aren’t perfect. But we have the curiosity and the stamina to do it, and survive. I would love to go, I had hoped someday I would. I am sad we fell into complacency rather then letting our exploration spirit thrive.

  126. My future wife and I lay in bed in a cottage behind White Waltham[UK] aerodrome in the early hours and watched on TV the first step of Man on the Moon and out of our open window we could see the Moon for real rising above the airfield. Still seems like only yesterday, the memory is so clear.
    What a bunch of real men!
    With the new NASA LRO Apollo landing site pics available maybe the conspiracy theorists will finally shut the **** up!

  127. By the way, in my pontificating post I forgot to say what I most wanted to say:
    I was 5. I clearly remember watching it. Unlike other 5 year olds, I was interested. My sister and I watched it on my parents’ B&W tv in their room, unfortunately my brother was in the hospital for some unknown infection on his head (I understand he’s in some medical publications).
    Back then, you couldn’t help but be immersed in Space Fever. There were rocket tie-ins to almost everything, or at least my memory says so. Toothbrushes, cereal, etc… many ads showed rockets launching.
    For me it is a tie between the two great tragedies of my youth: the cancellation of Apollo, and the breakup of The Beatles… but I remember both (and I was 17 days old when JFK was shot… my birth certificate was issued on that day).
    Looking back, it is clear to me that my lifelong fascination with science and things scientific came directly from watching and following the Space Race, even at such an early age. I will always have the utmost respect for all of the astronauts from that era, and quite frankly am shocked that they were younger than I am now. From my perspective, they were OLD GUYS. Then again, so were all the Star Trek characters.

  128. evanmjones (21:02:09)
    Thanks Evan. I’ve been playing that every July 20th(21st here in Australia) for years now. My copy of “Minus Ten and Counting” is almost worn out.
    Those who are interested can go to Youtube and search for “Hope Eyrie” and hear one of several versions of the song written by Leslie Fish. Popular at science fiction conventions I’m told. Some folks like to stand to attention when it is sung.

  129. >>>@ralph ellis, tosh, and tosh? How about waiting to see if
    >>>these guys can produce, before bashing them a prioi?
    Because you (and they?) have no idea what 30GW looks like. For instance, I have 30GW in my torch battery, is that impressive?? (30GW picoseconds). If you cannot use the right units, you cannot be taken seriously.
    On their website, the deceit becomes even more obvious. This is a power smoothing system, not an electrical backup ‘battery’. Wind is notoriously variable to grids, and needs a storage-smoothing system to match grid voltage and frequency. This is what this system does.
    What this technology does not do is store enough energy to cover a day, a week or a month with zero wind power. There is no system in the world that can do that (short of a decent nuclear power station) which is why wind power is an expensive and pathetic diversion from our electrical power supply problems.

  130. >>>No-one has mentioned Werhner von Braun yet, or is that
    >>>too sensitive a subject still?
    Ah, yes, that old America-ribbing joke.
    Q. I say, I say, I say. Why did America beat Russia to the Moon?
    A. Because the American Germans were better than the Russian Germans.
    Da da da da daaaa….. (rounds of applause) … 😉
    .

  131. Roger Sowell;-)
    Thanks for that link, I could only find about a dozen or so on the site I found, I knew it had to be squillions more than that!
    Patrick Davis:-)
    No one disputes that many did not die, nor that only one region of the country was so severely affected, nor that the media love a good story & the camera always shows what the media want the public to see, (polar bears etc)in this case, the BBC actually did something rather wonderful to touch the hearts & souls of millions of better off people. They just forgot to tell the story, the whole story, & nothing but the whole story! We in the UK know the “donations” got through to those who needed it as we are regularly reminded by Comic Relief every couple of years or so. Personally, I never had the time to take out or finances to visit such places, something the youth of the last 20-25 years seems to have found in abundance, thanks to science, technology, free-enterprise, low-cost flights, & modern relaxed attitudes to life, & I would have probably been thrown into clink (or worse) the minute I opened my mouth to object to the way whatever “State” behaved towards its peoples!
    Slightly OT, but I understand that “stars” from stage & screen love a cause to submerge themselves into, they break down & weep at the appropriate moment on camera at the pity of a weak & feeble child held in their arms, likely to not live out the next few days, simply because it is human nature to do so. (This is NOT cynicism) This is a tragedy of humanity. However, I object to people who have abundant wealth through using the “system”, (one only needs a certain amount of wealth to be extremely comfortable, above which all else is mere extravagance), only for them to return from whatever “disaster” they have visited, & lecture the rest of us on our apparently “extravagant” lifestyles destroying the planet/people/flora & forna, from their pseudo-intellectual privillaged position! One Albert Gore springs to mind. Frankly, most of us are merely trying to reach a fraction of what they have!:-) Moderator, snip at will.

  132. parvis imbutus tentabis grandia tutus!
    Responsiva: Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt ~ charles tutela parcus

  133. “Roger Sowell: centrifugal force (or is it centripetal? I can’t recall) increases ”
    If you stand beside the contraption, it is centripetal (towards the center); otherwise the parts of the wheel would fly away tangentially.
    If you move with the wheel, you have the feeling it is centrifugal (away from the center); but this force, like the coriolis-force, only exists because you are accelerated.

  134. “Smokey: The Lockheed model never made it to production. As I recall, one of the objections was what would happen if a heavy flywheel turning at 100,000 RPM was let loose in a crash, to go spinning down city streets”
    A flywheel-driven passenger-bus was produced and (that was years ago) in use in the swiss city of Neuchatel. The wheel was run up at the stops with electricity.
    Materials have improved and the Formula 1 team of Williams built a KERS-system with a flywheel (the other teams used batteries). While braking, the KINETIC ENERGY RECOVERY SYSTEM stores the energy. It seems to have been a flop, or not yet developed enough (too heavy).

  135. My favorite “space moment” of the last decade is the punch in the nose the Buzz Aldrin gave the tin hat interviewer when he insulted Aldrin’s honesty about the “faked” moon landing.

  136. SteveSadlov (11:55:44) :
    …. It’s intuitively obvious.
    I don’t like the “intuitively obvious” argument. “Look at the receding glaciers, the climbing global temperatures, the increase in CO2. Man-kinds CO2 emissions are the cause of global warming. It’s intuitively obvious.” Sound familiar?

  137. paullm (22:21:53) :
    Gads, off-topic, but relevant in a way to the AGW debate, unfortunately.
    What Giap said, exactly, is not important…
    I think it is significant when a point of view is supported by a fraudulent quotation that claims that the North Vietnamese were on the point of surrender while the fact was that they were resolved to keep on fighting forever. I would think that this is important for evaluating what actually was happening then. Furthermore, you miss the point of Giap’s comments on opinion. They understood the power of public opinion in America, and so did LBJ. Wars ARE won on many fronts, and they were determined to win. At any cost. Good or bad, that’s it. You can’t just claim that the military was stabbed in the back by weak-minded, craven reporters who didn’t understand we were close to victory.
    Anthony does a good job of presenting the opposition to the AGW view without going off the cliff into senseless ranting. Many who comment here, and I am referring to comments about global warming, not just politics and history, are not so scrupulous. The sad and funny thing is, if you read the comments at RealClimate and other such sites, the tone and structure of many of the non-scientific comments are the same – only a few words are changed. Some core beliefs shared by BOTH sides:
    – specific facts are not important
    – “bending the truth” is okay to serve the larger truth
    – everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot or a liar
    – there is a vast conspiracy to hide the truth
    – the opinion of the other side will lead to the end of all that is valuable in our culture

  138. ralph ellis (07:15:17) :
    That was a forward-looking can-do generation – an era in which bravery, success and triumph were to be championed, not derided.
    Compare the Apollo epic with today’s world.
    My children are not allowed to have a sports day, in case someone wins.
    My children are not allowed to walk to school, in case they hurt themselves.
    My children cannot play ball in the playground, as it is dangerous.
    Boys are not allowed to play cowboys and Indians, as that is violent and racist.
    My children have to slow their education, to allow others to catch up.
    Engineering is for dumbheads who cannot get into finance.
    Rockets may harm the environment.
    A deliberate concentration on simple wind technology will prevent anyone building a nuclear space-probe to go to Mars.
    Money needs to be channelled towards helping the Third World, not elitist stunts.
    We need to reduce wealth and output, to help the environment and prevent CO2.
    It would be more environmentally friendly if we lived in mud huts and used strip-farming.
    The Medieval Era was a golden age.

    WOW, grumpy old man alert.
    Good on ya mate
    I was in junior school circa 60 – 64. They tried banning our schoolyard games, not because anyone got hurt but because there was the potential for someone to get hurt.
    I moved on to secondary school and although it was still allowed, there was a lot of talk of banning competitive sport. WHY? Because there are winners & losers in competition!
    The headmaster of my school was extolling the virtues of CSE, how everyone would leave school with a certificate. He was unable to answer when my father asked what I, (aged 11), thought was a reasonable question.
    What is the value of a certificate that everyone gets?
    When the head was unable to answer, my father answered the question for him. He said, “as an employer, I see it as having no value, being nothing more than a certificate that says the person has attended school”
    The whole system has been on a downhill slope ever since 🙁
    DaveE.

  139. Lichanos, consider this:
    – specific facts are not important
    When the other side can’t even figure out the importance of clouds on a water planet, then sure, any other minutia pales into insignificance.
    – “bending the truth” is okay to serve the larger truth
    I do not believe this, and no skeptics that I know believe this. ALL of the alarmists I know seem to believe this, however. From what I’ve seen, the entire object of “skeptics” is to arrive at the actual facts. If I were to see compelling evidence that the AGW alarmists were, in fact, correct, then I’d be all over it. I have yet to see anything even remotely credible.
    – everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot or a liar
    Welcome to the internet 🙂
    – there is a vast conspiracy to hide the truth
    It’s not so vast, but it’s effective. Just make sure the media is on your side, and given the MASSIVE leaning to the left of media workers, you just need to frame your theory or argument or whatever in a left-right dichotomy.
    – the opinion of the other side will lead to the end of all that is valuable in our culture
    Well, throwing away everything we in the first world have worked for and built up over the centuries does seem like that, doesn’t it? In a way?

  140. Lichanos, thank you for pointing out that the Giap quote may have been inaccurate [but to be fair, your source is trying to prove a negative by saying he could find no reference to it before a certain date]. But I don’t want to use anything that might be questionable, and I won’t use that quote again.
    That said, though, I recall comments from P.O.W.’s saying that things immediately got much better for them in prison camp as soon as the B-52’s began bombing Hanoi.
    Why would the prison guards suddenly start treating the P.O.W.’s so much better? Obviously, because they were told to make nice. If the ruling politburo lost the confidence of the populace [and what better attitude adjuster than a B-52 with its 108 500 & 750 pound bomb load], they could not have carried on with the invasion of the South. American negotiators also reported a sudden burst of cooperation by Hanoi when the bombing began, in actually getting agreements on issues that had been stalled for years. Hanoi’s apologists can try to explain that away if they like. But the fact is that the anti war faction kept us from effectively prosecuting the war by constantly criticizing the bombing of Hanoi, and by constantly protesting any attack on Haiphong harbor, the gateway for 90% of the munitions flowing into North Viet Nam. As Lincoln observed, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
    By not closing ranks and supporting our military during war time, the Left in this country is responsible for the war’s outcome. Their treacherous activities led directly to the deaths of American soldiers. Undermining our military and our country was fun for a lot of people at the time — who could safely protest [and truth be told, much of their protesting was due to their personal fear of the draft].
    And I will never understand why people like John Kerry and Jane Fonda were not prosecuted for traveling to North Viet Nam and conducting their own private negotiations, and acting as North Vietnam’s propagandists.

  141. @ Smokey (08:36:53) :
    Lichanos, thank you for pointing out that the Giap quote may have been inaccurate [but to be fair, your source is trying to prove a negative by saying he could find no reference to it before a certain date].
    Further to my point about logic, or the lack of it, and the AGW debate:
    “To be fair…?” You seem to be implying that the unmasking of the Giap quote is somehow inconclusive, as if it might be true, although you, being cautious, will refrain from using it. Strange…If you applied this sort of reasoning to AGW, you would be a supporter of the eco-fundamentalists, instead of their critic. After all, can you prove conclusively that AGW is not and WILL not occur, given the circumstantial evidence that it MIGHT be occurring now? (Keep in mind, I think there is little basis for such positive statements!) No. You cannot prove that negative. You can only show that there is no support for the positive statement. Just as you cannot prove that you are not the Devil’s servant (he hides his tracks so well) or that you won’t go stark raving mad tomorrow.
    Similarly, there is NO evidence that Giap held that view, and in fact much evidence that he held the contrary view. Not much hope for unearthing a long forgotten killer-quotation from General G. about how the war was lost.
    As I was saying, people on the anti-AGW side often adopt a stance that they would denounce vigorously, and rightly, if taken by the pro-AGW side. This is the curse of politics, the realm of untruth, in which only Power has the rights to declare truth.
    Just an historical point – if we had “closed ranks” before the war, you have no evidence that we would have won. Of course, this leaves aside the point of whether we should have been there in the first place. The country was for the war at first – the ranks were nicely closed – then they began to wonder what the hell it was for? Doesn’t that seem like a good question for a democratic people to askitself?
    @ CodeTech (08:30:46) :
    Conspiracy? Well, the media do a bad job of reporting on science, and they are swayed by apocalyptic fears just like scientists and lots of other people. I predict it will all fizzle out in a few years if the global mean temperature holds flat or declines.

  142. One of my earliest memories is of watching a Gemini shot on TV. Must have been 1966.
    Summer 1969 my dad bought a model of Apollo 11, which he used to teach me how to assemble, paint and apply decals to a plastic scale model. The model even had a little fully articulated lunar module including moving legs. The third stage had the four flap cowling which opened to allow extrication of the lunar module. I wish I’d kept it, but it took up lots of room (was about 3 feet tall). At some point I had to toss it to make room for new models I wanted to build. Oh well …

  143. lichanos,
    As with most other climate alarmists, you have the Scientific Method turned completely on its head:

    “…can you prove conclusively that AGW is not and WILL not occur, given the circumstantial evidence that it MIGHT be occurring now?”

    For the umpteenth time: it is the duty of those purveying the CO2=AGW nonsense to prove their case. It is not the responsibility of skeptics to disprove the CO2=AGW hypothesis.
    No wonder you don’t get it. Time to reset, and see if you can figure out how to falsify the long held theory of natural climate variability — which fully explains today’s climate, without the unnecessary addition of a minor trace gas.
    Occam’s Razor makes clear that adding extraneous explanations like that generally leads to incorrect conclusions. If you want credibility, show us empirical, real world evidence that CO2 raises the planet’s temperature. [The output from GCMs doesn’t count as evidence. Show us real reproducible, falsifiable evidence. If you can.]
    Or, try falsifying the theory of natural climate variability… if you can [you will be the first]. That is the Scientific Method.
    Running a new hypothesis up the flag pole, then demanding that skeptics must salute it, is simply bad science. It is non-science. But it’s probably the only ‘science’ the warmist crowd has.

  144. @ Smokey (12:29:41) :
    Alas, you have clearly not read my comment, or else your passion has totally clouded your ability to reason about it. I am not a climate alarmist – I AGREE with nearly all of the critiques posted by Anthony on this site. Is that clear enough?
    I was not demanding that you meet this condition:
    “…can you prove conclusively that AGW is not and WILL not occur, given the circumstantial evidence that it MIGHT be occurring now?”
    I was positing that as an ABSURD condition, one of which I allege you to be guilty. At least we agree that it’s absurd.
    Really, how can one have a rationale debate if even the people you agree with don’t make any sense? Jury duty taught me that everyone can reason quite well if they feel they have to, but sometimes I wonder…

  145. “”” ralph ellis (00:59:35) :
    >>>No-one has mentioned Werhner von Braun yet, or is that
    >>>too sensitive a subject still?
    Ah, yes, that old America-ribbing joke.
    Q. I say, I say, I say. Why did America beat Russia to the Moon?
    A. Because the American Germans were better than the Russian Germans.
    Da da da da daaaa….. (rounds of applause) … 😉 “””
    Don’t laugh; I know of an (American Sponsored), America’s Cup Sailing site; whose site motto says:
    “OUR Kiwis, are faster than YOUR Kiwis.”
    A recognition of the depth of Kiwi sailing, and the raft of them to be found in lots of other Nations’s sailing teams; BUT, also a slap at American teams, for not recognising that there are a large number of very skilled American Sailors; who are more than capable of putting together an American AC team at the top performance level in that sport; without just blanket hiring, of Kiwi sailors.
    George

  146. “”” Ron de Haan (17:48:43) :
    tallbloke (16:14:31) :
    Roger Sowell (13:16:28) :
    given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.
    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/grid-scale-energy-storage-flywheel.html
    “Round and round went the bloody great wheel
    In and out went the prick of steel”
    Sounds fun. What are they going to construct these from?
    tallbloke:
    Depleted Uranium, what else? “””
    Actually depleted Uranium would not be a good flywheel material; it isn’t nearly strong enough to take the stresses.
    In stationary applications, flywheels might have some use; but I doubt it.
    Even with absolutely perfect balance it would have to withstand the constant bearing wear that results from the incessant 84 minute “hum” vibrations; that plague gyro systems. The 84 minute vibration is of course the period of a simple pendulum whose length is the radius of the earth.
    It is also the absolute minimum period of an earth satellite, circling at the earth surface; or the round trip time of a trip through any length “graviational tunnel”, say from SFO to LAX.
    The flywheel bearing would eventually wear out from precession due to the earth’s rotation. You could of course gymbal mount it, to remove those side thrusts; but then you would have two extra sets of bearings to wear out through ocnstant rotation.
    No matter how you cut it; storing a whole lot of energy in a small space is damn dangerous; no matter how you cut it; and gasoline is about as safe as any method yet tried. As for “Super” batteries; the more “super” they are; the more dangerous, and environmentally obnoxious they are; they aren’t the answer either.
    George

  147. Lichanos (13:05:01) :
    “Alas, you have clearly not read my comment…”
    Actually, I didn’t read your comment clearly. My apologies for missing what you were saying. I assumed that you were taking that ‘absurd’ position. My bad for assuming.

  148. George E. Smith (14:48:57) :
    “”” Ron de Haan (17:48:43) :
    tallbloke (16:14:31) :
    Roger Sowell (13:16:28) :
    given a recent breakthrough in energy storage via high-speed flywheels. The device is under construction, and it is a bit premature to celebrate, but we should know by December or January if this works as advertised.
    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/grid-scale-energy-storage-flywheel.html
    “Round and round went the bloody great wheel
    In and out went the prick of steel”
    Sounds fun. What are they going to construct these from?
    tallbloke:
    Depleted Uranium, what else? “””
    Actually depleted Uranium would not be a good flywheel material; it isn’t nearly strong enough to take the stresses.
    In stationary applications, flywheels might have some use; but I doubt it.
    Even with absolutely perfect balance it would have to withstand the constant bearing wear that results from the incessant 84 minute “hum” vibrations; that plague gyro systems. The 84 minute vibration is of course the period of a simple pendulum whose length is the radius of the earth.
    It is also the absolute minimum period of an earth satellite, circling at the earth surface; or the round trip time of a trip through any length “graviational tunnel”, say from SFO to LAX.
    The flywheel bearing would eventually wear out from precession due to the earth’s rotation. You could of course gymbal mount it, to remove those side thrusts; but then you would have two extra sets of bearings to wear out through ocnstant rotation.
    No matter how you cut it; storing a whole lot of energy in a small space is damn dangerous; no matter how you cut it; and gasoline is about as safe as any method yet tried. As for “Super” batteries; the more “super” they are; the more dangerous, and environmentally obnoxious they are; they aren’t the answer either.
    George
    George, you are correct again.
    Gasoline is very safe and we have even made it safer.
    I have serious doubts about the long time durability of heavy, real heavy fly wheels
    spinning at 100.000 rpm.
    But it is a challenge to build a prototype.
    The weight and strength of the flywheel could be created by the creation of a composite material. (Could be done with depleted uranium although the choice of material was intended as a joke)
    It must be very well balanced and extremely strong.
    It would need a super buffer that is able to absorb the kinetic energy in case the fly wheel for some reason flies apart or is released from it’s axle for some kind of reason.
    To let it spin in an underground housing would an the obvious solution.
    The real big idea is to build it entirely free of bearings using an electric magnetic field, thus creating a free flying solution spinning under vacuum conditions for low drag. (No bearings, no axle, no wear, no vibrations, no humming, no maintenance)
    But I still think coal and gas are the better option.
    Who needs windmills anyhow?

  149. George E. Smith (14:48:57) :
    The Euler pendulum you correctly describe would probably affect only a gyro that was not initially set up to have a rotational axis parallel to the rotational axis of the Earth. forgive me if I have this wrong, it’s been many years since I worked with navigational gyros.
    Balance & gyro drift are another matter though, the factors in that are many, even in air or magnetic bearings.
    Add to that, how many minutes can be stored in a gyro & from where?
    Here in the UK, we can go weeks without wind, ditto the rest of Europe! The backup still needs to be there & will probably be even “dirtier” due its intermittent use.
    Someone, one of the phils I think, said we can start 1.3Gw in 12 seconds. This sounds like & fairly well matches in power Dynorwig pumped storage units which actually can achieve max power in about 75 seconds. Then of course there is the problem of getting them in sync with the grid before bringing them online. Unless yoou want to bring the grid down of course.
    DaveE.

  150. Lichanos,
    My final remarks on Vietnam and WC:
    You wrote: “You can’t just claim that the military was stabbed in the back by weak-minded, craven reporters who didn’t understand we were close to victory.”
    Try the facts:
    1)after the press was given unprecedented access to the war effort the military was stabbed in the back by the press;
    2)the press, by essentially reversing the result of the tremendously successful response by the troops against an incredibly widespread and massive V.C. assault the press did contribute greatly to U.S. troops being withdrawn and to the North’s victory realized.
    What would the outcome have been if the U.S. remained? I have my opinions and that’s all they are and beside the point. The point is taking the weapon out of the warriors hands when they have fought successfully, sacrificing for others only to be demeaned and further sacrificed at home.
    I initially pointed out the fact many things contributed to the outcome of the Vietnam War. I felt the need to respond to your rant about the quote of one N.V. General and your making a narrow argument somehow excusing Cronkite, and his colleagues, from not getting a report correct which significantly (not exclusively) contributed to one certain path of violence and death – apparently without their public remorse. I am not aware of any such acknowledgments.
    Possibly you’ll understand my perspective. It is not that difficult, but I will not respond to further nit-picking that would only waste space feeding your appetite for verbiage.
    Cronkite’s narrative delivery during space missions was tremendous. Unfortunately, for me, the above and his thereafter liberal agenda driven career detracted from those and other such great presentations.
    It will be great, once again, when we can see progress toward our exploring the outside universe and another, improved Cronkite-like can relay it to the public – if we don’t freeze first.

  151. You know, as much as I am enthused by Bransons Virgin Galactic effort, watching their promo videos on their website sickens me how they are so cloyingly dripping with the AGW propaganda, and if thats how the capitalists in britain talk, its no wonder things are insane over there (never mind the insanity on this side of the pond).

  152. DaveE, George Smith, Ron de Haan,
    The commercial flywheels do incorporate the aspects you mentioned, non-contact bearings (they “fly” after reaching a certain speed), evacuated chamber, and composite rotor material. Some are built underground as a buffer against failure at high speed. Part of the know-how is in constructing a nearly perfectly balanced cylinder that does not wobble at high speed. Another aspect is not losing speed as the earth rotates (the gyroscopic effects mentioned earlier). There is probably an effect from earth orbiting the sun, but I do not know if it is significant.
    I have been fascinated by these gadgets ever since my grand-dad allowed me to spin up the axe sharpener on his farm (early 1960’s). This had a hand-crank geared up to a grindstone that rotated on a horizontal axis. It must have had wonderful bearings as it would spin for quite a long time after we cranked it as fast as possible. When he was not looking, my cousins and I would try to stop the rotating wheel as quickly as possible by pressing a length of wood against it. We learned some good lessons about energy stored in a rotating mass (and lost a bit of skin).

  153. “Ron de Haan (20:48:03) :
    Patrick Davis (19:23:55) :
    “No-one has mentioned Werhner von Braun yet, or is that too sensitive a subject still?”
    Patrick Davis, read: Ron de Haan (18:55:32) :
    I have mentioned Von Braun in relation to the German V-Program.
    Without the genius of Von Braun and his rocket technology there would not have been a V-weapon program in Germany and no successful US Space Program.
    He was lucky to survive the war, lucky he was not prosecuted in Neurenburg,
    lucky to continue his rocket development in the USA and lucky the Cold War triggered a Space Race.
    We were all lucky he was not deported to the USSR.
    I am sure a lot of people who experienced the effects of his V1 and later his V2 have a different opinion. The same goes for the prisoners who worked under extreme conditions on his program.
    But it was war and we are lucky that he was on the side that lost the war.
    So in short: Briliant and successful rocket scientist who was very, very, very lucky.
    His big disappointment came in the end when the Space Program was terminated and budgets were reduced. He had great plans for a permanent Moon Base and all the plans ready for a flight to Mars.”
    Sorry, war is no excuse to ignore the slave labour that put Braun in a position to be exploited, and he in turn to exploit the US *because* of it, by the US in their ICBM and other rocket, Saturn V, programs. All that “secret” technology was salted away by the US at the end of WW2.
    To me this is just as unpalatable as those involved in loading the prison trains which took millions to their deaths.
    We’re after truth in the AGW “dabate”, then truth should prevail in this discussion about how NASA got there.

  154. “George E. Smith (14:26:45) :
    “”” ralph ellis (00:59:35) :
    >>>No-one has mentioned Werhner von Braun yet, or is that
    >>>too sensitive a subject still?
    Ah, yes, that old America-ribbing joke.
    Q. I say, I say, I say. Why did America beat Russia to the Moon?
    A. Because the American Germans were better than the Russian Germans.
    Da da da da daaaa….. (rounds of applause) … 😉 “””
    Don’t laugh; I know of an (American Sponsored), America’s Cup Sailing site; whose site motto says:
    “OUR Kiwis, are faster than YOUR Kiwis.”
    A recognition of the depth of Kiwi sailing, and the raft of them to be found in lots of other Nations’s sailing teams; BUT, also a slap at American teams, for not recognising that there are a large number of very skilled American Sailors; who are more than capable of putting together an American AC team at the top performance level in that sport; without just blanket hiring, of Kiwi sailors.
    George”
    And who was NZ’s most famous sailor? Sir Peter Blake, who spent most of his *famous* sailing life in and around Emsworth, Hants, UK.
    I won’t go in to why I dislike the attention this man attracted in NZ when he was freely sailing about the place (Off Western Australia I think) and was killed by pirates, while, other “little people” (Lillybing) were being vicioucly killed at home (NZ).

  155. “Alan the Brit (01:52:18) :
    Patrick Davis:-)
    No one disputes that many did not die, nor that only one region of the country was so severely affected, nor that the media love a good story & the camera always shows what the media want the public to see, (polar bears etc)in this case, the BBC actually did something rather wonderful to touch the hearts & souls of millions of better off people. They just forgot to tell the story, the whole story, & nothing but the whole story! We in the UK know the “donations” got through to those who needed it as we are regularly reminded by Comic Relief every couple of years or so. Personally, I never had the time to take out or finances to visit such places, something the youth of the last 20-25 years seems to have found in abundance, thanks to science, technology, free-enterprise, low-cost flights, & modern relaxed attitudes to life, & I would have probably been thrown into clink (or worse) the minute I opened my mouth to object to the way whatever “State” behaved towards its peoples!”
    I was there with you in the UK too, seeing what you were seeing, the BBC actually did real work then, I don’t see that now. You should see the art from that era in Ethiopia, set along side *Lucy”, also, still the millions of bags/tins of rice, from where who knows, but they all arrived with “USA” printed on them, and many people still have them. Rice? What would Ethiopians do with rice? LOL Teff is the staple grain there…
    Anyway, if you get a chance, go there, have some kitfo, doro wot and tej (A hony based wine).
    Wish you well.

  156. CodeTech (09:56:32) :
    What came out of the 60s? How much of our current technology came from the 60s? (Aside, of course, from ME, created in the 60s)
    Commercial airliners: 747, 737, 727, L1011, Concorde… Virtually ALL airframe and overall design for modern airliners was done in the late 50s and 60s. New planes are mostly just variations or refinements on the 60s designs.
    Military aircraft: F14, F15, Harrier, (F16, F18 were 70s), C5A Galaxy, C141 Starlifter (B52 first flight was 1959… 50 years ago!!!! and they are still in use). The sum total of military jet design since the 60s has been evolutionary. Stealth technology? Still just tweakage of 50s and 60s designs (although, according to a show I just watched, the Nazis had a very stealthy flying wing in 1945).
    Rocketry: we’re still using ICBMs as launch platforms for satellites, and the vast majority of engineering work was done in the mad rush to the Moon. Show me something new, I’ll be surprised, other than the obvious control electronics (ie. computers). Of course, most people here will be aware that computers were first actually USEFUL in calculating ballistics.
    It is true: humanity has lost its spirit of adventure. Instead of people strapping themselves to giant bombs and riding them up to another sphere, we get excited when the 80th Shuttle flight elevators up to a couple of strapped together cans.
    Robot exploration vs. human exploration is a passionate argument. We need both. For mundane cataloging of the local planets and satellites, sure, send a robot. But to explore, to actually understand and react to what is around, we need people… we need boots on the ground. We need to go to Mars, not just because a person can gather more data, but to spur the development of the technology and spirit required to get there.
    Right Code Tech,
    The current Gaia Green Movement promotes a type of human that is less ambitious, that is happy with the basic essentials of life and not to demanding.
    They even have developed a universal religion that bridges the (at least that is the idea) the gap between the Christian and the Islamic World.
    Our current Governments are pumping out rules that kill any private initiative.
    It’s time for a reset and clean up.
    Which sane individual or entrepreneur wants to be confronted with rules that dictate to growers how their cucumbers have to look like?
    It’s all going to far and many of us have the feeling we can’t breathe any more.
    Today, the USA is still the land of opportunity.
    The wave of private initiative of kit plane building introduced by Bert Rutan brought us the Voyager flying non stop around the world, the Rocket Racers and now, with the help of “Big Money”, the first private Space Base in New Mexico offering Space Flights for “little money”.
    The world today is confronted with institutionalized mega companies tightly cooperating with Government.
    They watched how the Chinese system (still communists) became the world’s biggest factory in the shortest period.
    They saw how the modern democratic societies today needed 20 years of legal procedures before they were aloud to construct 5 miles of rail track.
    Today we are witnessing a “revolution” on an epic scale and this revolution will not serve the people.
    It will serve an unprecedented growth in Governmental power and takes away all restrictions for big capital to do their business.
    As a consequence, we will be reduced to assets, losing our freedom.
    The new “World Order” will be “totalitarian” in concept.
    In the past, the biggest conflicts in the world emerged because ideologies collided.
    Some powerful entities (a.o, the UN) have decided that the winning ideology has become a threat for the future of the planet.
    They believe that the planet does not have the resources to bring prosperity all corners of the world.
    We all know that modern technology and the current climate conditions have served an increasing number of people.
    To stop this process is wrong.
    It is as wrong as the UN’s climate assessments and the doctrine of Climate Change and Global Warming.
    If we love our freedom and trust, really trust our capability to overcome major set backs by our wit, skills, creativity and technology, we have to fight.
    This will be the hardest and most difficult fight we have ever fought.
    The reason for this is the fact that the “enemy” is not confined to a territory.
    You can not recognize him by a uniform.
    This enemy has infiltrated our societies and taken over all strategic positions.
    Resisting this enemy is resisting Government and the law.
    People are losing their jobs and have become subject to false intimidation.
    If there ever has been a war that was defined by “right against wrong”,
    Evil against the Good, Capitalism against Communism, the Allies against the NAZI’s,
    this war will be it.
    This war is about the truth and corruption.
    The big, big mistake the initiators of the so called “World Revolution” have made
    is that they started out on the wrong basis.
    Corrupt as they are, they introduced the AGW doctrine based on falsified and manipulated science.
    The corruption will be beaten by the truth, the law and the same spirit that brought a man on the moon.
    The major battle field will be (already is) the internet and one of the most powerful weapons are the blogs.
    We will regain the great spirit which marked the sixties. We will fight for our freedom and independence and we will liberate those who still live under communist or totalitarian rule.
    The AGW Climate Change doctrine is cracking up and it will crash short term.
    It will provide a major blow to the establishment.
    A new front has been opened up carrying the tag “Major Corruption”.
    The people pushing for Cap & Trade are behind this and we are finally arriving at the point where there is a chance they will brought to justice.
    see http://www.seablogger.com/?p=15992
    The next US election will provide new opportunities too, as long as people get informed about the real intentions of the politicians they trust their vote to.
    A lot of effort has to be invested in “information and education”.
    This blog does a hell of a job.
    It promotes common sense, objectivity, honesty, free speech and good spirit.

  157. @ paullm (18:20:30) :
    You wrote: “You can’t just claim that the military was stabbed in the back by weak-minded, craven reporters who didn’t understand we were close to victory.”
    Try the facts:
    1)after the press was given unprecedented access to the war effort the military was stabbed in the back by the press;

    So, I claim you can’t prove something, and your proof is to asset the same thing over again and claim it as a fact.
    As I have said, this sort of discourse is too typical of the entire discussion of AGW. Unfortunately, it is common even among scientists. As Freeman Dyson remarked on an exchange between Lindzen and Rahmstorf, they seem to speak past one another. (Although, Freeman seemed to favor Lindzen’s point of view!)

  158. Tom B (07:29:53) :
    SteveSadlov (11:55:44) :
    …. It’s intuitively obvious.
    I don’t like the “intuitively obvious” argument. “Look at the receding glaciers, the climbing global temperatures, the increase in CO2. Man-kinds CO2 emissions are the cause of global warming. It’s intuitively obvious.” Sound familiar?
    Tom B,
    Glaciers are advancing (world wide observations) again. That is not intuitively obvious, it’s a fact.

  159. That night the world held its collective breath and marvelled at the sheer accomplishment of it. “Going to the moon” used to be an expression of the most impossible thing one could imagine. With this achievement, mankind was forced to recalibrate its scale of what was possible.
    I remain an optimist. I don’t see the decades-long stall in further space exploration as a loss of curiosity, will or fascination with the unknown. The technology that took us to the moon evolved from Nazi V-2 technology. Herculean efforts of countless engineers and scientists fashioned the most amazing, complex machine(s) ever made. But it was all done with the goal of simply “sending a man to the moon and returning him, safely, to the earth”. We called it “the space program”, but it was never that. The reason we got bored with going to the moon was because the whole trick was to do it once, and first. Once that was accomplished, there was really nothing left to see.
    I think JFK wanted to show America, and humanity in a larger sense, that after WWII, there were great things to be done. Heck, we can go to the moon if we want to! As a boy watching it all happen, I recall the only real justification for a “space program” was to get us on our way to a new planetary home because we were killing our earth with pollution and overpopulation. Those reasons don’t ring true to me now. But JFK’s reasoning begins to make sense to me.
    Curing disease and lifting populations out of poverty and providing clean water and medicine to everyone are huge challenges. But JFK showed us that the impossible was possible. It still is.
    And as we praise Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, let us never forget the names of White, Chaffee and Grissom, who lost their lives in Apollo 1.

  160. Ron de Haan (15:12:44) :
    Sorry Ron. I think, perhaps, you’ve missed my point. I know that many glaciers are, in fact advancing. I know that global temperatures are decreasing as CO2 concentrations continue to increase. I know that Arctic ice is recovering. I know that Antarctic ice coverage is increasing. I know that the tropospheric “hot spot” all climate models predict has never been observed. I’m aware of these and many other facts. I, in fact, agree with SteveSadlov that industrial heat build up may be a major contributing factor to any observed global temperature rise. I also agree with Steve that this could well be considered “intuitively obvious”.
    I’m just cautioning against using the “intuitively obvious” argument since this fallacious debating technique is so widely used by AGW proponents.
    I want to extend my great thanks to Robert (00:41:10) : for that Orbiter link. That site contains a link to the JPL “Basics of Space Flight” tutorial. I’ve been plowing through that for the last few days as time permits. What a fantastic introduction to the staggering number of variables and disciplines astrogation requires. I’m also quite pleased by how much my life-long absorption of Sci-Fi means I already knew a surprising amount of it! My admiration for the people that plan and conduct deep space exploration knows no bounds. My heartfelt thanks to the folks at JPL for putting up that site.

  161. A sobering excerpt on the future of space exploration from a former law professor of mine, Professor Joerg Knipprath:
    “The [Chinese], especially, are working overtime to get a capacity to fly to the moon and beyond. As an aside, despite all the protestations, space will be militarized beyond being the home of satellites as soon as someone has the capacity to do that. The way the U.S. is going, it won’t be us.
    Leaving aside the military angle, it is for science, technology, and, as John F. Kennedy (to whom our current President likes to compare himself) put it, the challenge of it that space exploration proceeds. It is the sign of a self-confident and risk-taking society to undertake such tasks. The moribund state of our space program is a symbol of our societal drift. We, of course, are more engaged in fits of millenialist paranoia such as global warming to take note of the future. We unilaterally want to hunker down, even de-develop as Obama’s “science czar” once recommended. We see progress (except “green” technology, real or fraudulent) as a curse. At least as reflected in our national administration, we look with suspicion on risk-takers, preferring instead the all-suffocating cradle-to-grave “government safety net” that sucks incentive and the inclination to meet challenges out of the body politic. “

    Full article is at:
    http://www.tokenconservative.com/if-anyone-boldly-goes-where-no-man-has-gone-before-it-probably-wont-be-an-american/

  162. The people that think Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia was the first to transmit the Moon landing have it a bit wrong. It was Honeysuckle Creek, just outside where I live.
    Unfortunately “The Dish” helps to perpetuate this myth.

  163. I should mention that I recently went to a talk by one of the people that worked at Honeysuckle Creek ( part of the 40th celebrations) and he showed a video that compared the TV image from both Goldstone and Honeysuckle Creek. The one from HS was *much* better. Apparently what happened was that the TV images showing Armstrong on the ladder were from Goldstone, but when NASA saw the image from HS they switched over and the historic moment was from HS. Parkes switched in after about 9 minutes and continued to show the rest.
    The dish from Honeysuckle Creek was eventually moved to Tidbinbilla where it is still in use.

  164. “Roger Sowell (19:31:14) :
    A sobering excerpt on the future of space exploration from a former law professor of mine, Professor Joerg Knipprath:
    “The [Chinese], especially, are working overtime to get a capacity to fly to the moon and beyond. As an aside, despite all the protestations, space will be militarized beyond being the home of satellites as soon as someone has the capacity to do that. The way the U.S. is going, it won’t be us.
    Leaving aside the military angle, it is for science, technology, and, as John F. Kennedy (to whom our current President likes to compare himself) put it, the challenge of it that space exploration proceeds. It is the sign of a self-confident and risk-taking society to undertake such tasks. The moribund state of our space program is a symbol of our societal drift. We, of course, are more engaged in fits of millenialist paranoia such as global warming to take note of the future. We unilaterally want to hunker down, even de-develop as Obama’s “science czar” once recommended. We see progress (except “green” technology, real or fraudulent) as a curse. At least as reflected in our national administration, we look with suspicion on risk-takers, preferring instead the all-suffocating cradle-to-grave “government safety net” that sucks incentive and the inclination to meet challenges out of the body politic. “
    Full article is at:
    http://www.tokenconservative.com/if-anyone-boldly-goes-where-no-man-has-gone-before-it-probably-wont-be-an-american/
    And the Chinese will get there, with not only th emoney they get from trade, but money they will get from “emissions trading”. Game, set and match! Cha-ching (Cash register).

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