posted 12-19-2003 06:07 PM
LOL! You guys! It was great to see you all.
I was a country boy in the middle of a gathering of some of the greatest minds in Space. I was the only pair of blue jeans at a suit and tie event. I was overwhelmed and outclassed everywhere I looked. I had a great time!
This was not an astronaut encounter session although I did get the chance to briefly speak a few words with Buzz Aldrin and Gene Cernan. I did also have two great conversations with Charlie Duke and his lovely wife Dotty. They are just the nicest people you’ll ever meet (but then they are from the South)!
It was a day of one dynamic speaker after another in rapid succession. One powerful chess game being played out in front of my eyes.
I was most impressed with...
Buzz Aldrin’s comment about having recently applied for a patent for a rocket design that would launch several crew vehicles at one time. Did I hear that correctly? I sure would have liked to learned more about that one!
Alvin Tofler’s predictions for the our future...
Bob Thompson. He summarized Kennedy’s space challenge as “Anything you can do, I can do better” He said our priorities ought to be 1)get the shuttle working again 2)finish the space station 3)then go on to deep space explorations
Neil Tyson. “Never once has mankind undertaken a big project for the sake of exploration.” It’s always been for either defense, the promise of economic return, or for the praise of a higher power. The Great Wall, the Manhattan Project, and Apollo were for defense. Columbus, Magellan, and the TVA were for economic returns. And the pyramids and cathedrals were for higher powers. His conclusion.... which one of these do we claim for going back to the Moon or on to Mars?
Tom Rogers gave his three priorities for space. 1) space generated electricity... sure it’s expensive, but it would be cheaper to supply Korea with this form of power than deal with them having nuclear power. 2) space tourism 3) Hydrogen and Oxygen on the Moon... a valuable resource available for one tenth the launch cost that it would be from Earth.
Paul Spudis gave the most convincing speech on going to the Moon as I have ever heard. Just amazing. I think he could have convinced Mondale!
Dr. Robert Zubrin. The only person not convinced the Moon should be next! What a wild fellow! Always on the ready to argue his points. I couldn’t help but be reminded of ......... who argued for lunar orbit rendezvous for many years, until finally people started paying attention.
And then Musk. Builder of the Falcon. A very sharp young man who very well might change rocketry in our time. We could use more like him.
I understand that the whole lecture series will be available to view on Cspan and at tvworldwide.com and at aviationnow.com