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Monday, 20 July 2009

Moon walking

No, I'm not talking about a certain ex-Pop Star recently departed this life to another, I'm talking about the real thing that happened on this day in 1969. The famous utterance of Niel Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, remains etched in the memory - "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." The stunning footage of the earth "rising" above the lunar horizon was breathtaking, yet, jsut as they seemed set to build on this massive achievement, the Democrat government in 1972 cancelled the funding and stopped all further manned exploration of the moon. In fact, at one point it looked as if they would withdraw completely from space.

I was therefore encouraged when the shuttle was developed and launched because without something like it we cannot hope to build anything permanent in space. But now we no cohesive policy - least of all in the UK, where space is seen as something everyone else can spend money on while we waste billions on welfare programmes which, if we actually had a space programme, would be rendered unnecessary by the employment it would generate. Surprisingly the UKis the fourth most active nation in Space Research even though we have not yet had an "official" astronaut in space - we've had a number who have been privately funded or fuded by other agencies and even states - and we now have an official astronaut in training. Itis also claimed that we are the leading builder of robotic equipment for space and have the largest European based satellite company here. Most of which is such a well kept secret its almost unknown! Why? Because Whitehall and Westminster are afraid of the "waste the money on social programmes" lobby - the same one that always wants to disarm us completely and spend the money "saved" on everything from minority culture promotion to even more social engineering stupidity.

So where are we forty years on? Well we still dream and we still live in hope that one day someone will have the guts to kick the wasters into touch and actually start up the development and the programmes we need if we are to build on the achievement of those first moon walkers. Whoever goes there now will be 'standing on the shoulders of the giants' who made those first faltering flights in space craft equipped with computers less powerful than the average mobile phone. They were giants and the men who dreamed and made their flights reality were giants too - a stark contrast to the mental pygmies now infesting our political organisations and the bureaucracies they have created instead. Yet, in spite of them, it seems that quietly and carefully our entrepeneurial engineers, scientists and researchers have managed to keep us in the game. Long may they continue to do so and all power to the Major selected as our first official astronaut, let's hope some faceless Whitehall W*nk*r doesn't find some way to pull the plug on his flight. They will if they can.

2 comments:

  1. An interesting article about Neil Armstrong. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/19/AR2009071901771.html
    here is a sample of his character:
    "In reflection, Armstrong has confided in colleagues that he never wanted to be defined by Apollo 11, and by the few hours he spent walking in moondust. Though he is wary of offending NASA, he said as much publicly, in a rare TV appearance in 2005, to promote Hansen's book on "60 Minutes": "We'd all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work." "

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  2. Neil Armstrong is an amazing character and he is right - he may have been the first ever man on the moon, but his life is the sum of all he has achieved, not just that one moment of glory.

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