Saturday, July 20, 2019

Landing on the Moon

Today, fifty years ago, the Lunar lander nick named Eagle landed on the Moon. It was piloted by Neil Armstrong and Edwin ”Buzz” Aldrin. Meanwhile, the command module was still in Lunar orbit, piloted by Michael Collins.

The Apollo project, with its six successful landings on the Moon, was a stunning scientific feat. The rocks brought back from the Moon are still being analysed. The project is still awe inspiring, which is also a benefit.

Still, I cannot help but consider how much of the space crafts were just going to waste. Three rocket stages were ditched when taking off from Earth. Half of the Lunar lander was left on the Moon, the other half in Lunar orbit. The final rocket stage, for the return flight to Earth, was also ditched in space. A small capsule without engines was finally landed with parachutes on Earth. The astronauts and their load of rocks came back, of course, but not much more.

It is as if Christopher Columbus would have asked Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain for ships to go across the Atlantic Ocean to India, but saying he would return in a row boat.

The next time humans go to the Moon, I believe the project must take better care of the equipment. It would be too expensive otherwise.

I do like the Apollo project. It was ahead of its time, but perhaps too ahead of its time, which made it so wasteful, because it was the way it could be done with the technology at paw at the time.

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