Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by HAL9000, May 16, 2018.
The Last Man on the Moon - BBC Four
It's unlikely that anyone's going to land another human on the moon. It's been done now and the expense:reward ratio is prohibitive. Mars is probably the next one.
The Moon is very in vogue as a theoretical stepping stone to Mars. The idea is to create a permanent manned station from which to host launches. The White House is cheer-leading on this.
isn't there a shit load of water on the Moon? It will need to be mined and extracted from the rock but it's there - a Heinlein's Moon is a Harsh Mistress scenario come true in fact. The man was a genius!
Any resources obtained on the moon or from an asteroid will save a lot of fuel. I've always thought we'll be building space ships up there eventually and especially so if Arthur C. Clarke's space elevator ever happens.
Not for a quick visit perhaps, but it seems unthinkable that we won't establish a small outpost there once the technology is there. I bet there are mining opportunities as well.
I haven't watched this documentary yet, is it very good?
In the Shadow of the Moon is one of my favourite documentaries ever, seen it countless times and would recommend it if you haven't seen it. Gene's in it too, as well as John Young, my favourite of the Apollo astronaughts.
Apart from the small fact (cough!) that Young flew Gemini, Apollo and the Shuttle why's he your favourite? He comes across as a bit of a shit in Mike Mullane's autobiography and I don't recall him having much of a fan-base with the other astronauts*
*disclaimer: I have no first-hand experience of those other astronauts
He's just so...odd. There are some funny anecdotes about him in Moondust where he gives awkward interviews. He also seems like one of the least gung ho and more intelligent of the astronauts and was very critical of Nasa's safety standards after various disasters. Plus he must have been doing something right to have such a long space career even though he may have rubbed people up the wrong way.
Like you say, never met him, so all just stuff I've read.
Can't disagree with any of that, although I'd say the least gung-ho would have been Armstrong.
Mullane suggests that Young's long career was partly because he wouldn't ever rub any of the senior brass up the wrong way even when he should have done. e.g. call out safety issues or to support the use of Shuttle OMS engines to help achieve orbit.
Unfortunately, as we're selling Chap Mansions, all my books are in storage else I'd have cited some examples from Mullane's book.
Cheers a_chap, that's interesting to know. I find it fascinating to try and get some understanding of the type of people and psychology behind astronauts.
Being strapped to the tip of a rocket and going to space would certainly mess with my mind. If I ever did pass the test to go to space I'd probably freak out and end up going mad.
Weirdly a lot of the accounts I've read suggest that many astronauts have turned to god or equated the journey in space as a spiritual/religious experience. I suppose seeing the world from up there must mess with your mind somewhat and isn't easy to comprehend.
I'm not sure how many astronauts truly "turn to god" after flying in space. Famously Apollo astronaut Ed Mitchell did but I'm struggling to think of any others.
Keep in mind that the USA is a conservative religious society so professing to be a fervent god-botherer doesn't do your career any harm at all. Wernher von Braun and, it seems, all the German rocket engineers quickly became very active in their local churches which a cynic might suggest was somewhat at odds with their previous career but greatly helped americanise them.
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