Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Holy Shit, Moon Landings!

Let me just get this out of the way right off the bat: we put human beings into a small capsule attached to several enormous machines that create aimed and sustained explosions which carried them off of the goddamn planet all the way to the goddamn moon, both of which are in constant motion. They landed and walked on the surface of the moon, then came back home and survived re-entry. We did this six times, and for some reason we haven't even really tried to do it again in over 40 years.

The moon.
Look at her face. She misses us.

Holy shit.

There is no part of the concept of people walking the surface of the moon that is not profoundly incredible. Literally incredible to a lot of people. Otherwise we wouldn't have the conspiracy theories about it being a hoax. Which are just plain wrong.

Apollo 11, the first manned spacecraft to bring human beings to the moon, had less computing power than a modern graphing calculator. It traveled through 238,900 miles of pure nothing to deposit people onto the lunar surface. Imagine what we could do with the power we have today?

An iPod
Astronauts could pipe in some tunes!

And have you paid attention to rockets? Do you know what they are? They're pretty much the same thing as missiles. NASA managed to point one of those things at a moving target (albeit a big and predictable one) with enough accuracy and controlled chaos that they could not only fling astronauts to the moon, but do it safely.

Damn it.
Don't make a fart joke, don't make a fart joke, don't make a fart joke...

Neil Armstrong stepped out of the landing module and he was, by most definitions, an alien. Then he flubbed his line (no really, it was supposed to be "one small step for a man," which makes more sense), planted a flag too close to the landing site, picked up some rocks, and went back to Earth. And they made it. Safely. After knocking over the flag during takeoff. Don't worry, even the ones that weren't knocked over have been bleached white by the untempered radiation of the sun by now.

The real kicker for me, though, is the fact that the United States, the only country to have ever put human beings onto the surface of another celestial body, did so six times within a three year period, then never did it again. The entire time we were at it, the public, half awed by the monumental accomplishment they were witnessing, were clamoring about "more important problems back home." You hear the same argument today.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
How is this not worthy of attention?

To which I like to say, "Are you fucking kidding me? Look at that shit. Look at what we did, America. Jesus. The moon. We went there." Saying that we shouldn't try exploring space until we've solved all of the problems on Earth is like saying you shouldn't try to get a job until you've figured out how to stop needing to eat. It's pure bullshit.

And seriously, look at that. It's a man on the moon.

Holy shit.

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