Tag Archives: NASA

20 July 1969

Plaque on Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

Plaque on Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

I had just graduated from high school. Viet Nam dominated the news, especially for young men approaching their 18th birthday.

But in the midst of it all, we answered the challenge of President John F. Kennedy to make it to the moon and back within the decade of the 1960s.


The lunar module detached from the command module and descended to the moon’s surface. Neil Armstrong prepared to land on the moon using an approach chart just like pilots would use here on earth. However, since no one had been to the moon before, the detailed chart was based on photographs and estimates. As he got closer, he realized that the intended landing site was not safe. Unlike on earth, he could not merely go around and make a second attempt – there was not enough fuel. Well trained, disciplined and determined, he coaxed every bit of lift out of the spacecraft and brought the Eagle to a safe landing.

When I saw that even I, a soon to be befuddled college freshman, knew – I KNEW – anything was possible.

Forty-five years later, I still know it’s true.

Do you?


Am I Back?

I’ve been having trouble writing lately because all I seem to read about is scandal, celebrity, celebrity-scandal, murder, rape, pillage and politics. Ugh!

We Geeks like to find the silver lining in any and every cloud, and it’s been pretty hard lately.

But, then I saw it.

Orbital Sciences successfully launched their Antares rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) from Wallops Island, VA. With the space shuttles retired, NASA had been relying on the Russians for transport and supply of the ISS. Now they’ve got two additional partners, Orbital Sciences and SpaceX.

Wow! It’s kind of like “Two Men and a Truck” at seventeen miles a second. Nothing glitzy. Nothing fancy. Just reliable delivery service like UPS or FedEx with a couple of million horsepower.

Now I have to write about the CubeSats and student experiments that the Antares carried. Then I need to write about a Geek philosopher I’ve recently read.

Stay tuned.