Sunday, December 21, 2008

Apollo 8's 40th

This week is the anniversary of the Apollo 8, the first crewed mission to leave Earth orbit. Friday at Johnson Space Center, a panel of original engineers remembered the flight. Most of these gentleman are in their seventies or eighties. Chris Kraft is speaking seventh from the left.

1968 was a year of worldwide strife. NASA was still recovering from the Apollo 1 fire the previous year. Apollo 2-6 were unmwnned tests. After the singularly successful Apollo 7 flight, the decision was made to send Apollo 8 into lunar orbit. Even the men in this room thought that was crazy, but somehow they pulled it off. Earth rising over the Moon is one of history's great pictures.

The original NASA engineers were mostly kids straight out of college. Today the workforce is growing, with women allowed to play. The panel was introduced by Marianne Dyson, who was a shuttle flight controller. As I wander around JSC, I meet a growing number of us girls working in Space. They come form very diverse backgrounds--I met one woman who was a curcus acrobat and another who was a Houston Texans cheerleader. This time it will be women on the Moon too.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone gift our lovely lady a decent camera this Christmas?


I have been following the speed of light debate since 1972.

The problem has always been rather simple. How can this change be actually measured?

When your standard of measurement may be changing, you should not invent all sorts of hypothetical things such as dark matter to explain your observations.

Keep it simple, and you will always end up being correct.

Keep up this outstanding work!

10:26 AM  
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