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  TIME: 40 Years Later, It's Moon Race 2.0

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Author Topic:   TIME: 40 Years Later, It's Moon Race 2.0
ejectr
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Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 11-16-2008 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good article from Time. Click on the images of Mars as well. You won't be disappointed.

40 Years Later, It's Moon Race 2.0

You probably wouldn't have had much fun on the surface of the moon. It's not the exploring or the bouncing or the buggy-roving that would have bothered you. It's the worrying.

Landing on the moon is fine, but you need to get home too. That means heaving your multiton spacecraft back off the ground and up into space -- and if that's going to happen, all its thousands of components have to work just so. There's no guarantee that they will -- which is why the first time men landed on the moon, President Richard Nixon had a short address prepared just in case things went wrong. "Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace," he would have said. When they're writing your obit while you're still alive, it's hard to have a good time.

But the astronauts themselves had a grand time on the moon -- and the U.S. had just as much fun sending them there. For a big, loud, hootenanny nation like ours -- one that has spent the better part of its history whooping its way west -- having an empty landmass to explore a quarter-million miles (more than 400,000 km) offshore was a powerful tonic. The fact that the exploring took place in what was otherwise a very hard decade made the experience only more bracing.

All times are CT (US)

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