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airship
23rd Mar 2014, 00:50
Does anyone remember when the first astronauts commented on seeing our Earth from space? I was much too young, but perhaps there was a momentary pause in the usual (bad) behaviour of the Worlds' rulers back then?! For most of the astronauts, seeing our little and lonely planet was a life-changing experience (for the better).

Whatever, it's probably high-time that we also sent our current leaders out into space for a looksee for wont of a better description. Alas today, nothing but Russian launchers are available for manned missions with very limited passenger capacity. Unless the USA and NASA are willing to put a shuttle back into service, and until the privately-operated "tourist" spacecraft become operational. But I'm not sure the Earth can wait for these. Based on a "passenger capacity of 3 persons on each Soyuz, I propose the following flights ASAP:

SOYUZ 2015-01: President Vladimir Putin, President Barack Obama and airship (+ 1 pudicat).

SOYUZ 2015-02: UK PM David Cameron, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad.

SOYUZ 2015-03: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli PM.

SOYUZ 2015-04: North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, Indian PM Manmohan Singh and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif.

All expenses to be paid out of the UN funds normally reserved for "peace-keeping"...?!

Oh, just in case you're thinking "he's probably just watched "GRAVITY", well, you're right. But I also seem to recall that one of the reasons I joined PPRuNe back in 2003 had something to do with STS-107. I keep contributing here after 10 years or so, but I'm not sure that my sagesse is welcomed or appreciated anymore. But I've always felt a duty to somehow bring an ounce of sanity here, continuing on even if it's not always appreciated or most often mis-interpreted.

ChrisVJ
23rd Mar 2014, 00:54
Sagesse. That would be a female sagacity, would it?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

ShyTorque
23rd Mar 2014, 01:12
Or a saggy female.....

airship
23rd Mar 2014, 01:12
ChrisVJ, you may well rue the day you wrote that...?! But thanks for your astuteness in pointing that out: wisdom (like sagesse) are valuable (if not being quite reduced to commodities) yet. ;)

wiggy
23rd Mar 2014, 01:14
Does anyone remember when the first astronauts commented on seeing our Earth from space?

Err, yep, I'm old enough to remember this, probably the most ba**sy, out on a limb, bravest decision NASA ever made:

Apollo 8 45th: Race to the moon. "The daring adventure of Apollo 8", PBS 2005, Part. 2 - YouTube

The very first TV broadcast from beyond Earth orbit gets a mention at around 12 minutes (yes, it really was in glorious black and white, as was everything on our TV set)...as far as I recall it the coverage on that broadcast wasn't great, due to a combination of camera lens problems and the spacecraft windows "misting". Us Earthlings had to wait a few weeks until we saw the still colour photographs that came back, especially the famous "Earthrise", to get some idea of the beauty of the Earth seen from space

Earthrise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthrise)

perhaps there was a momentary pause in the usual (bad) behaviour of the Worlds' rulers back then?!

Don't remember that happening...the Vietnam War kept going on, the Northern Irish problems were just about to get really nasty, the Cold War was in full freeze, teachers at school were still horrid.........

airship
23rd Mar 2014, 02:01
Don't remember that happening...the Vietnam War kept going on, the Northern Irish problems were just about to get really nasty, the Cold War was in full freeze, teachers at school were still horrid.........

Sorry wiggy, I realise that I was still speaking from a "child's perspective" in 2014 of events when I was a child back then, obviously in a form of cocoon protected by my parents. However, that period also included the USSR's Nikita Khrushchev "seeing sense" during the Cuban Missile crisis and together with JFK, making some headway towards detente I like to think.

Whatever, there was no nuclear armageddon...? And whereas today, the threat of unlimited nuclear warfare is mostly very far from most people's minds, there remain many serious conflicts which our leaders can't or won't resolve for various reasons that separate one people from another. We need something to remind us all of the things that do unite us all.

PS. I do have an ulterior motive. It's only when the World is mostly at peace, that mankind might consider seriously the condition of the planet's remaining wildlife. And introduce measures for their survival. Either that, or airship will continue praying for the 10km asteroid to hit, sort of pushing the "restart button" as it were. :ok:

PPS. Whaddya think Laika? Woof woof. Woof woof woof!

alisoncc
23rd Mar 2014, 04:29
SOYUZ 2015-01: President Vladimir Putin, President Barack Obama and airship (+ 1 pudicat).

SOYUZ 2015-02: UK PM David Cameron, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad.

SOYUZ 2015-03: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli PM.

SOYUZ 2015-04: North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, Indian PM Manmohan Singh and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif.Let me get this right. You are proposing to send all of the above into space. Correct. Now, if there is no intention of bringing them back, then why are going? And what about the pudicat?

Confused :E

Dushan
23rd Mar 2014, 05:13
I'll chip in my $1.25, as long as it is one way trip.

Ascend Charlie
23rd Mar 2014, 07:19
I'll toss in a few gallons of petrol, liberally doused over Kim Wrong'Un.

Gotta light?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
23rd Mar 2014, 11:46
I remember well the heady days of the late 1960s when manned return flights to the moon became so routine the TV stations stopped covering them (they woke up again for Apollo 13). Watching the recent ohh! ahhh! TV programme about the ISS, wheezing round at 200 odd miles in low-earth orbit with a view not much different to that from Concorde (another 1969 triumph), I couldn't help but think "so what. Back in the 60s we saw Earth as a tiny ball suspended in space. We've gone backwards a long way in space travel since then" (another Concorde echo).

the only thing that spoiled the US Space Program for me was all that religious bollox the astronauts were spouting. They were scientists FFS, not ignorant peasants!

tony draper
23rd Mar 2014, 12:18
Only one Scientist ever went to the Moon,the rest were Fighter Jocks,when this was commented on at the time the reported response from the Astronauts was F*** Science.
Those Fighter Jocks had cornered the market.
:rolleyes:

Windy Militant
23rd Mar 2014, 12:35
Unfortunately the people mentioned would probably take the same view as was put forward by Mr Pratchett in his Graphic novel The Last Hero.Beyond the rimfall, the continents of the world were coming into view under swirls of white cloud.
"You know... from up here... you can't see the boundaries between nations," said Carrot almost wistfully.
"Is that a problem?" said Leonard. "Possibly something could be done."
"Maybe huge, really huge buildings in lines, along the frontiers," said Rincewind.
"Or....or very wide roads. You could paint them different colours to save confusion."
"Should aerial travel become widespread," said Leonard, "it would be a useful idea to grow forests in the shape of the name of the country, or of other areas of note. I will bear this in mind.'"I wasn't actually sugges--'" Carrot began . And then he stopped and just sighed.
:ugh::(

Cacophonix
23rd Mar 2014, 12:47
This image of the insignificance and fragility of our beautiful blue mother ship always leaves me humbled...



http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/images/inner/inlineImg310x230_bluedot.jpg

Caco

Dr Jekyll
23rd Mar 2014, 12:49
Only one Scientist ever went to the Moon,the rest were Fighter Jocks,when this was commented on at the time the reported response from the Astronauts was F*** Science.
Those Fighter Jocks had cornered the market.

Neil Armstrong was selected not because he was a 'fighter jock' but because he was a test pilot. A perfectly reasonable choice for testing a new vehicle in an unfamiliar environment.

The scientists were supposed to go on the last three Apollos, and it was generally assumed that there would be some kind of long term base after that for research. Certainly few people imagined Apollo would be the only chance of getting to the moon in the 20th century and at least a big chunk of the 21st.

Once Apollos 18/19/20 were cancelled a 'fighter jock' was actually kicked off Apollo 17 to make room for a scientist.

Cacophonix
23rd Mar 2014, 12:57
The Apollo astronauts were almost to a man WASPS (Mike Collin's dad had been a Catholic but converted to Protestantism when he got married) and some heavy religious stuff did happen on the surface of the moon...

snopes.com: Communion on the Moon (http://www.snopes.com/glurge/communion.asp)

Caco

tony draper
23rd Mar 2014, 13:04
I know,I followed the Space prog fro Gagarin through the Mercury Gemini Apollo and Skylab,I could probably still name all the Apollo crews in the order they went,the Scientists name was Jack Shmitt or Jack Harrison Shmitt and I didn't have to google that.:rolleyes:
Of course they had scientific training before they went but lets face it the Moon Program was 90% political and 10% science.
However still think it was the greatest achievement of the last century,just as the invention of the light bulb in my town was the greatest of the previous century.
:E

Shaggy Sheep Driver
23rd Mar 2014, 13:07
OK, scientists was probably the wrong term. They were indeed test pilots, but that is a scientific occupation requiring logic and understanding of how stuff works. I'm surprised that such minds could also believe in irrational supernatural tosh.

That Armstrong was a pilot was what saved Apollo 11 eleven, of course, when the computers became overloaded and were about to land them in a boulder field. His cool and skillful test pilot skills enabled him to take over manually and take them to a safe landing on the last of the fuel.

Cacophonix
23rd Mar 2014, 13:12
As an agnostic it is amazing to me and yet somehow surprisingly reassuring that even the most intelligent and logical people seem to cleave to preposterous notions and even religion at times...

Kansas - Dust In The Wind - YouTube

Caco

tony draper
23rd Mar 2014, 13:14
I know and there was also some talk that Armstrong was picked for the first footprint for the very reason he was a civilian and not a military man which perhaps would not look as good in the history books.
How true that is I know not.
:)

Cacophonix
23rd Mar 2014, 13:19
Neil Armstrong was an extraordinary fellow by all accounts and seemed able to come to terms with the enormity of what they had achieved.

For his part Buzz Aldrin seemed mortal and struggled with his life for a while after the lunar achievement but next to the landing on the moon I have always admired him for punching Bart Sibrel...

Buzz Aldrin punches Bart Sibrel after being harassed by him - YouTube


Caco

Matari
23rd Mar 2014, 13:54
These guys made it to the moon because of religion, not in spite of it. They were acknowledging the centuries-old connection between the scientific and the spiritual.

Copernicus, Descartes, Pascal...all were educated in religious institutions where they learned their mathematics and sciences from priests. Fr. Jean Picard, Fr. Fr. Giovanni Riccioli, Fr. George Searle, countless others made huge scientific discoveries, without which we wouldn't understand the universe as well as we do today.

wiggy
23rd Mar 2014, 14:17
I know and there was also some talk that Armstrong was picked for the first footprint for the very reason he was a civilian and not a military man which perhaps would not look as good in the history books.
How true that is I know not.

It's oft repeated but not really true I'm afraid Drapes. Deke Slayton (the astronaut office boss at the time) set up a crew rotation system that basically meant that if you were nominated as a back up crew member for a mission then if all went according to plan you skipped the next two flights and then were the prime crew member on the next, i.e. "back up, skip two, fly". Armstrong was appointed as back up to Frank Borman's crew in late '67 and so fell into the sequence at that point, well before it was even decided 8 would go anywhere near the Moon and well well before it became possible that 11 might be the first landing mission...

I believe the PR department's real worry at one stage was that a slippage of the landing by one mission would have meant Pete Conrad would have been the first man on the Moon.....there were fears that his first words for the very first step might have been highly entertaining but not fit for broadcast... :uhoh:

thing
23rd Mar 2014, 16:23
These guys made it to the moon because of religion, not in spite of it.

No, they made it to the moon because of science. You could sit at the foot of a Saturn V all day and pray to whatever God/Pixie/Imaginery Friend you want and it ain't going to move an inch. It does however move under the influence of lox and RP-1. In the past religious institutes were centres of science. That's where you went (or one of the options you had) if you wanted to be a scientist.

You might want to remember that religion has persecuted scientists in the past as well. Ever heard of Galileo Galilei? The Catholic church finally apologised in 1992 and admitted they had made an error. 350 years or so later...

Yoiu also might want to add to the list Copernicus, William Buckland, Charles Lyell, Louis Agassiz, Adam Sedgewick, Charles Darwin and Tycho Brahe. Bertrand Russel was persecuted for his atheist beliefs and Isaac Newton had to pretend to be religious (only renouncing religion on his deathbed) so that his work would be considered.

Religion is fine if kept private, I couldn't care less what people believe, I'm not a believer myself but wouldn't want to deny others that particular hobby; but when it starts to interfere with science and technology, in other words the advancement of our species then I think all right minded people should stand up and say back off.

Matari
23rd Mar 2014, 18:03
Sometimes these internet discussions are refreshingly enlightening, yet others are painfully predictable.

In this case, when a poster says the astronauts spouted "religious bollox," one feels compelled to remind the poster that the bollox got us there. That is, without those early religious institutions, the monastic tradition of deep learning, the clash of tradition and modernity and the resulting persecution of early scientists, we would not have had the the enlightenment and incredible advances in science that we see today. It was a journey, but to deny the steps along the way is just, well, bollox.

So when someone says "you can pray to pixies at the base of a Saturn V and couldn't make it move an inch" one can only help but say..."duh"...and sigh a little, and hope that children will some day be taught better than what we see here today.

thing
23rd Mar 2014, 18:21
Sometimes these internet discussions are refreshingly enlightening, yet others are painfully predictable. But don't you get a feeling of warmth knowing that they are predictable? I have a theory that blokes like consistency in their lives, far more than women. I know that if I go to the pub tonight the talk will be of today's matches, what Moyes should do to improve Utd's chances of getting into Europe next year; that they will invariably also talk about the economy and how things were better under labour/ and or conservatives. It's what blokes do, it's comforting, we enjoy it so why change it? Internet fora are just pubs to me, where blokes can safely talk bollocks without any comeback. If it's not like that then it's a sad day for all men.

I'm still right about the pixies though.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
23rd Mar 2014, 18:43
matari - now you're spouting bollox. Science and guts and a belief that 'it could be done'.... and an awful lot of dollars got them there. Irrational beliefs contributed nothing, as they never do, obviously.

Buzz Aldrin actually got to speak the first words from the surface of the Moon...

"Contact light".

tony draper
23rd Mar 2014, 18:54
Anyway you're both wrong, Scientists come up with the idea,Engineers make it happen.:E

thing
23rd Mar 2014, 19:00
:) You are a bad man. Actually everyone participating made it happen but it wouldn't have happened at all without a bunch of ballsy guys who took the rather large risk of flying the thing to the Moon and back. And just to please Matari I bet they offered a bit of a prayer up to the choir invisible when they were waiting to blast off.

sitigeltfel
23rd Mar 2014, 20:17
These guys made it to the moon because of religion, not in spite of it.

Utter drivel. The Christian church (overwhelmingly Catholic) did its utmost to deny education to the populations they subjected to tyranny.
Learning and scientific truth were the enemy of religion and the prelates did their utmost to make sure that the ordinary citizen was kept in ignorance. Challenging the churches hegemony could, and often, mean death for heresy, a process being carried out to this day by radical Islam.
Only when their power was diminished did knowledge flourish, and superstition shown for the evil it propagates.

B Fraser
23rd Mar 2014, 20:43
If I may drag the thread back from the Spanish Inquisition, I recommend that anyone interested in the subject reads "Carrying The Fire" by Michael Collins. It's an excellent book and I will personally refund the cost should it be bought on my recommendation and the reader not enjoy it.


For me, the question is who really was the first man in space ? Vladimir Ilyushin reputedly landed in China to the embarrassment of the Politburo. It is also said that he was the first to return alive with a previous cosmonaut dying on an earlier flight. As Ilyushin is still alive, it is interesting that he has never denied the theory that he preceded Gagarin. There are a few documentaries available on the interweb which make interesting viewing.

Windy Militant
23rd Mar 2014, 22:41
Mr Fraser, I don't suppose you are a member of the British Interplanetary Society? The whole thing about the first cosmonaut has been minutely examined by members of BIS and they have concluded from the verifiable evidence that has so far come up that Gagarin was indeed the first.
Much has been made of the evidence put forward by two Italian brothers who claimed to have heard radio transmissions but this has mostly been shown as untrue, mainly due to claims that they heard heart beats, medical data would not have been transmitted as sound but as telemetry signals so they would have sounded like fax transmissions, which weakens their case.
There was however a dummy named Ivan Ivanovich who made two flights before Gagarin and transmitted recorded messages to test the radio system, he also had a sign saying MAKET (russian for dummy) stuck into his helmet to stop the peasants thinking he was a real! ;)

PS The Catholic church only did astronomy to begin with to be able to fix the date of Easter and other religious festivals not advance science!
Britain only founded the Greenwich observatory to improve navigation for his Majesties fleet.
And Von Braun learned about chemical fuelled rockets from Goddard who the Americans all thought was nuts! :p

Cacophonix
23rd Mar 2014, 22:57
that the bollox got us there

No, the calm calculus of logic did. If Newton was a religious man so what!

We are not savages and God (forgive him or her) knows that...

Caco

awblain
23rd Mar 2014, 23:05
Matari,

No-one got to the moon on the wings of superstitious bollox.
Some of those that journeyed there may have been prone to spout superstitious bollox, partly because of conformity with cultural norms; but nevertheless, reality has no place for skyfairies.

That the Moon was only reached by human foot in 1969, rather than - say - 1743, testifies to nothing more than the dead hand of superstitious bollox, which delayed the enlightenment for centuries.

Who knows the heights of sophistication that we would now all enjoy if the burnings and oppression of the inquisitive at the hands of the bollox merchants had not taken place.

Bruno, we toast you now: as the forces of ignorance toasted you then.

Cacophonix
23rd Mar 2014, 23:12
I am not anti religious but believe me the forces of religion that sped Giardano to his fiery grave will keep us in the darkness of superstition forever...

Vide this bollox sent to me by a man I care for and do business with...

Geocentrism (http://www.geocentrism.com/)

Caco

awblain
23rd Mar 2014, 23:26
I'm not anti-religious either, on an individual basis. After all, it's the free choice of the adult bolloxed if they choose to be so.

The problem comes when this bollox influences policy, and affects opportunities for others.

The last line of Neil Minchin's "The Pope Song" provides a very solid slap of reality to one strain, but can be adapted to catch the motives of the merchants of any and all colors and creeds of bollox.

Cacophonix
23rd Mar 2014, 23:35
Talking about Minchins... ;)


Religion - Tim Minchin - YouTube

Caco

TURIN
23rd Mar 2014, 23:50
Watching the recent ohh! ahhh! TV programme about the ISS, wheezing round at 200 odd miles in low-earth orbit with a view not much different to that from Concorde (another 1969 triumph),

Eh?

I must have missed that while I was sipping my Johnny Walker Blue Label half way between JFK and LHR. ;)

Matari
24th Mar 2014, 00:05
Voltaire once said that the biggest mistake the Jesuits made was in educating him.

This was a testament to both the quality of a Jesuit education, and Voltaire's ability, once educated, to write his biting, critical satire.

Heaven forbid one try to challenge 21st century heterodoxy.

If an educated physicist cannot acknowledge the scientific contributions made by his religious forebears, then one can only question the quality of his education.

Give me a tough old Jesuit science professor any day over the mushy, tenured 1960's crackpots infesting our universities today.

awblain
24th Mar 2014, 00:21
Everyone was "religious" in the 17th century, Matari. If you weren't, you tended to get at best shunned, and at worst burned.

Poor Descartes lost his marbles after his important work was done, and then disappeared off the bollox deep end trying to find fairies. He failed.

His most impressive argument during his mental twilight was "I like trees. Gods are reputed to make trees. Therefore there must be gods."

If the rule of bollox had ended in the 16th rather than the 20th century, we'd be four centuries ahead.

You need to find a dictionary that explains the term "in spite of".

awblain
24th Mar 2014, 00:32
The Earth did indeed roll round beneath Concorde at about the same rate of visual flow as it does from the ISS, but the ISS has a much much better view.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
24th Mar 2014, 01:11
I must have missed that while I was sipping my Johnny Walker Blue Label half way between JFK and LHR.

Yeah well, the cabin windows in Concorde are very small. I was looking out the cockpit windows. ;)

No Blue label served up there. Did I care? What do you think! :E

awblain
24th Mar 2014, 01:18
A night time view North from there must have been fairly impressive, but the aurora still isn't beneath you.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
24th Mar 2014, 01:51
Just to put the record straight, I was only there for one flight, invited by the BA captain. But it was a complete flight, pushback to engine shut down, including 60,000' and Mach 2. It was a fabulous August day, and the views were amazing.

Yes, 60,000' is only 11 miles up so a long way short of the ISS. But at that height almost all the atmosphere by mass is below you, so you see the dark blue sky at the edges and black overhead, and the curvature of the earth. Obviously, much less surface area is in view than from the ISS, but the scenes on TV from the ISS are evocative to me of those from Concorde. The views on TV from Apollo are in a different league.

B Fraser
24th Mar 2014, 08:59
Mr Fraser, I don't suppose you are a member of the British Interplanetary Society?

Absolutely not but I do have a rather large telescope !

tony draper
24th Mar 2014, 09:08
Just had a interesting thought,what's going to happen when Putin rings Obama and says, 'because you are getting so stroppy with us you can come and collect your astronaut from the ISS yourselves when it's time to come home because he int getting a lift back on any of my ships'.
:uhoh:

awblain
24th Mar 2014, 09:13
Shaggy,

I guess the downside being that you don't have an uninterrupted forward view, although you can use the sides to compare the noticeable horizon droop. I suspect the view in winter evenings was spectacular, and as you say, with so little air above, the phases of the Moon probably made little difference to the view.

The impression of speed and size, and the sheer detail of the Earth viewed from low orbit are reported to be spectacular, alongside the 15 sunrises and sunsets per day.

In comparison, the visual (rather than emotional) impact of seeing Earth as a "blue marble" from the way to the Moon probably isn't quite so striking.

The most impressive description I've heard is of the impact of seeing "Earthrise" from orbit behind the Moon. Since the non-landing Apollo crewmember was alone there, it was probably even more striking.

B Fraser
24th Mar 2014, 09:24
Admiral Drapes,

If the Russian Soyuz modules are already docked there, it could be the ultimate case of "twokking". :E