Astronauts

Sixty Years Of The Space Age: A Time Of Great Achievements And Technological Advancements

Yesterday, October 4, was the 60th anniversary of the Space Age, as the Soviet Union shocked the world by orbiting an artificial satellite, Sputnik I, beginning the Space Race, leading to the United States landing on the moon on July 20, 1969, after promotion by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. It was the age of Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and so many other heroic astronauts.

It transformed American thinking, and helped to promote science, math, and technology, and the importance of promoting higher education.

So under President Eisenhower, we saw the enactment of the National Defense Education Act in 1958, and the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with headquarters in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and later in Houston, Texas.

The Space Age promoted patriotism and excitement, as millions of Americans watched all of the launches of satellites and of astronauts on television.

This blogger remembers the uniqueness of the Space Age, and is still saddened by the lack of commitment to go further into space, with the argument that we could not afford the expenditure.

If we had continued the pace of the Space Age after the last mission to the moon in 1972, America would likely now have explored Mars, which now is a goal for the 2030s, after many lost decades.

The loss of interest in science, is a great tragedy, as many ignorant people have worked against it, instead advocating religion over science, to the detriment of the nation.

July 20, 1969: Man Lands On The Moon To July 20, 2017: Six Months Of Disastrous Presidency Of Donald Trump–From Unity To Division!

Forty eight years ago, Americans landed on the moon, and Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon, a moment of great rejoicing, and a time of unity and nationalism, even in the midst of the divisive Vietnam War. We had heroes, including Neil Armstrong, that we could be truly proud of.

Now, nearly a half century later, we have finished today six months of the most divisive, corrupt, and mean spirited Presidency, and it is dividing America down the middle in a way we nave not seen since Vietnam.

The disastrous Presidency of Donald Trump is based on pure salesmanship, the idea of PT Barnum, that a sucker is born every minute, and we have sixty or more million such suckers, who think Trump is like a God, and believe every lie and deception that he utilizes multiple times a day.

The refusal of millions of Americans to understand the danger America is in is shocking, and their willingness to believe any propaganda that comes out with fake information, and see educated people as those to be condemned in the name of prejudice and hatred of knowledge is detrimental to American survival,

One has to wonder how this crisis will end, as we are truly in a nightmare scenario that could lead, and likely will lead to a greater tragedy than at any time in the past century, as the situation is that dire!

52nd Anniversary Of First American To Orbit The Earth: John Glenn!

52 years ago, on this date, this author was a high school student, thrilled at the orbiting in space of the first American, John Glenn.

Glenn went on to serve as a US Senator from Ohio from 1975-1999, and go into space again at age 78 in 1998, in his last months as a US Senator.

Glenn, going on 93 in July, is the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven Astronauts crew of seven heroes!

In 1962, America had a much more optimistic outlook on the future, than it does now, and “Baby Boomers” were part of that idealism, those born after World War II.

Sadly, a substantial portion of those surviving “Baby Boomers” now are cynical, selfish, reactionary, hateful people, part of the Tea Party Movement, a shocking reversal of what they were a half century ago. They have forgotten the “American Dream”, and now only concern themselves with condemnation of the advancement of immigrants, African Americans, women and their rights, and oppose the rights of gays and lesbians.

This is a center of the turmoil we have now in this country, which should be proud of its social advancements, and yet has a large portion of senior citizens who are resentful of the advancement of those who are not like they were, heavily white middle class and wealthier kids who had opportunities that now, sadly, they wish to deny others who look differently than they do! And they forget the future is not them or myself, but the younger generation, and the nation is massively different than it was a half century ago, and it is time to accept that reality, and move on to the future!

John Glenn, National Hero 51 Years Ago Today!

John Glenn became a national hero 51 years ago today as he soared into space as the first American astronaut to orbit the earth.

Glenn also was the oldest astronaut ever, when he went into space on the shuttle in 1998, when he was 77 years old, and retiring from a distinguished career as a Democratic Senator from Ohio.

Glenn was a true national hero, and became a leading figure in the Senate for 24 years from 1975-1999, after a truly great military career, leading to the rank of Colonel, before he entered the space program, and became one of the original seven astronauts.

Glenn, now 91, will have been married to his wife Annie for seventy years in April, and this is a day to salute his great contributions to our defense, our space program, and to American politics!

An Eventful Four Days In American History–April 12-15

Every day in the calendar year one can find historical events of great significance, but in many ways, the days from April 12 to 15 are particularly outstanding for turning point moments in American history.

April 12 is the day the Civil War began at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina in 1861.

April 12 is also the day of the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard, to go into space in 1961.

Sadly, April 12 is also the day of the death of the greatest President of the 20th century, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945.

April 13 marks the birthday of one of our greatest Presidents, Thomas Jefferson, in 1743.

April 14 is another sad day, marking the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, our greatest President, shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, and dying the morning of April 15, 1865, at 7:22 AM, at the Peterson House across the street.

Also, on April 15, 1947, the nation witnessed the racial integration of baseball with the courage and skills of second baseman Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Any four day period that includes the birthday of a President, the death of our two greatest Presidents, the beginning of the most significant event in American history (the Civil War), the ushering in of the Space Age for the United States, and the integration of major league baseball, is simply an amazing four days!

John Glenn: Fifty Years Ago The Hero Of The American Space Program

John Glenn, the first American astronaut in space on February 20, 1962, celebrated the 50 year anniversary at the Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center in central Florida yesterday, alongside the only other surviving Mercury astronaut, Scott Carpenter. The other five original astronauts have all passed away.

Glenn, also the oldest astronaut in space in 1998 at age 77, was a great national hero on the level of Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The author remembers the news of his ride into space being broadcast over the public address system in classrooms of his high school, before the era of televisions in classrooms. It was a very exciting and patriotic moment.

Glenn went on to become a three term Democratic Senator from Ohio, and a failed Presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination in 1984. Despite his failure at gaining the Presidency, Glenn always came across as a popular, pleasant, approachable hero, much admired by Americans over the course of a lifetime.

The sadness of the celebration of the fifty year anniversary of John Glenn in space was the fact that we have, as a nation, abandoned a space program for the future, a shortsighted view of the importance of space. John Glenn expressed the sadness that we have lost our long range view, and the hope that at some point, we will start up again the adventure into space, the final frontier.

The Tragic End Of The Space Shuttle Program: A Mistake!

This nation is going through difficult economic times, but still one has to have vision about the future, and not only think about the present!

Therefore, it is a mistake that the space shuttle program is ending, and that many of the talented engineers, scientists, and support staff at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in central Florida and in Houston will now, after years of dedication, lose their jobs, and in the process, leave us rootless in space!

While President Obama today suggested travel to the nearest asteroid before going to Mars, there is no plan for any definite commitment to a space future, a mistake once made in the 1970s, but then revived with the Space Shuttle beginning in 1981 under Ronald Reagan.

Two weeks before astronaut John Glenn’s 90th birthday, we are faced with the fact that the only way now to reach space, specifically the International Space Station, will be through Russian vehicles, of all situations imaginable!

It is again a shortsighted view of what really matters, and a sad commentary on the fact that America is losing its vision of the future in so many ways, while the elite rich become wealthier, with a larger portion of income and a greater stratification of the social classes than at any point in American history, and greater than the worst extremes in the history of Great Britain!

50 Years Of Man In Space: NOT Time To Delay Space Exploration!

Fifty years ago today, Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth for the Soviet Union, becoming the first man in space, but followed soon after by Alan Shepard, John Glenn and many other American astronauts, along with many Soviet cosmonauts.

Space exploration opened up a new field of science, and on this anniversary, it is essential to look forward and continue space exploration as good for knowledge and for the future of the earth!

The purpose of America must be to compete in exploring the planets and beyond, and it should not be forgotten or delayed at a time when the space shuttle fleet is about to be retired!

Failure to explore space would be the equivalent of explorers deciding after Christopher Columbus to abandon the mission of settling the Western Hemisphere! To abandon space now would be a tragedy of long lasting effects!