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Neil Armstrong RIP

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Neil Armstrong RIP

Postby manoletters » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:38 pm

We were probably as different in terms of ideology, occupation and temperament as is possible. But it doesn't matter. He was a great aviator and a great space explorer. When I was six years old, I wanted to be him. Or else Buzz Aldrin, or maybe Michael Collins. But nobody else, nobody else in this whole wide world did I want to be, especially on July 20, 1969. They DID go to the moon, and anyone who says they didn't has let conspiracy theories emanate from his left nostril. Those three intrepid explorers gave the world hope, justified or not. And one needs hope, for without hope one has only disillusionment in his fellow man (and woman) and hopelessness in himself. And yes, we should still send unmanned (un-peopled?) vehicles to Mars and the other planets. Two billion dollars to send "Mars Curiosity?" Even three billion? That is but a FRACTION of each year's Pentagon budget, which realistically is now over a trillion dollars. A trillion largely wasted dollars, each and every year we endure this military madness. If we decreased spending on the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to the extent we should, we could possibly even afford a "manned" mission to Mars. Nah, that was twenty years ago; we're broke and busy quarrelling with our loan shark, China. Never mind, Neil Armstrong was still a great man. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/scien ... wanted=all
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Re: Neil Armstrong RIP

Postby johnfajardohenry » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:54 pm

manoletters wrote:We were probably as different in terms of ideology, occupation and temperament as is possible. But it doesn't matter. He was a great aviator and a great space explorer.
<snip>


All true and a very nice tribute.

He did not consider himself so much an aviator and explorer as "an engineer, who also flew."

But a great man however we classify him.

John Henry
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Re: Neil Armstrong RIP

Postby manoletters » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:26 pm

Yes, you're right. Neil Armstrong did consider himself an engineer first and foremost. But when you consider the way he landed (with Aldrin's indispensable assistance) the Eagle on Luna, with only precious seconds of fuel for the subsequent launch remaining, I think his record as a pilot is pretty remarkable too. I very much liked this particular biography:
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZMcnVk ... ng&f=false
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Re: Neil Armstrong RIP

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:36 pm

manoletters wrote:But when you consider the way he landed (with Aldrin's indispensable assistance) the Eagle on Luna, with only precious seconds of fuel for the subsequent launch remaining, I think his record as a pilot is pretty remarkable too.

A lot of folks don't realize how difficult that landing was and how long they were looking for a spot to touch down (boulder, boulder, boulder, THERE!).

Imagine what the last 40 years of NASA's history (and U.S. history in general) would have been if the Eagle had cratered that day.

When Armstrong noticed they were heading towards a landing area which he believed was unsafe, he took over manual control of the LM, and attempted to find an area which seemed safer, taking longer than expected, and longer than most simulations had taken. For this reason, there was concern from mission control that the LM was running low on fuel. Upon landing, Aldrin and Armstrong believed they had about 40 seconds worth of fuel left, including the 20 seconds worth of fuel which had to be saved in the event of an abort. During training, Armstrong had landed the LLTV with less than 15 seconds left on several occasions, and he was also confident the LM could survive a straight-down fall from 50 feet (15 m) if needed. Analysis after the mission showed that at touchdown there were 45 to 50 seconds of propellant burn time left.

When Armstrong had confirmed touch-down, Houston expressed its worries during the manual landing as "You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Armst ... o_the_Moon
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