The countdown to history

***

2. Nations eyeing the Moon

India:

Launched its first spacecraft, an unmanned probe, into orbit around the Moon
in October 2008 with the mission of mapping the lunar surface and searching
for uranium deposits.

China:

Has plans for a Moon landing and a space station by 2020. Chinese “taikonauts”
performed a spacewalk in September 2008, a feat otherwise accomplished only
by the American and Russian space programmes.

***

3. Space exploration landmarks since 1969

Hubble telescope:

The orbiting telescope has peered deep into space ? and back in time ? for
nearly 20 years, changing our understanding of the Universe.

Spirit and Opportunity:

The two Mars rovers landed in January 2004 and are still working. They found
evidence the red planet once had water and, so, could have supported life.

International Space Station:

The largest artificial satellite in orbit is a testament to international
co-operation, giving astronauts valuable experience of long-term living in
space.

***

4. Women killed in space

Christa McAuliffe:

A teacher who would have been first non-professional astronaut in space; died
in explosion aboard shuttle Challenger in 1986.

Dr Judith Resnick:

Second woman to orbit the Earth; also perished in the Challenger explosion.

Dr Laurel Clark:

US navy diver and physician who logged 16 days in space before dying in the
2003 explosion aboard the shuttle Columbia.

Dr Kalpana Chawla:

Indian-born astronaut; also died on Columbia.

***

5. People called Moon

Marion Moon:

Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name. No, really

Keith Moon:

Drummer with The Who

Moon Unit:

Zappa Frank’s daughter

Sun Myung Moon:

Korean founder of the Moonies

Ban Ki-moon:

UN Secretary General

***

6. Key statistics

$1.75bn (£1.1bn):

The cost of the Apollo 11 programme in today’s money ($355m in 1969).

12:

The number of men who have set foot on the Moon.

500 million:

Worldwide television audience for the first Moon landing.

$33:

Travelling expenses for each of the Apollo 11 astronauts.

$3,000:

The sum Neil Armstrong’s barber sold a lock of his hair for in 2005.

1972:

The year the last man set foot on the Moon.

***

7. Top songs

Fly Me to the Moon:

Frank Sinatra

Man on the Moon:

REM

Moon River:

Henry Mancini

Walking on the Moon:

The Police

Blue Moon:

Er, everyone!

Moonlight Sonata:

Beethoven

Moondance:

Van Morrison

***

8. Moon movies

Le Voyage dans la lune (1902):

A 14-minute silent film featuring the man in the Moon glaring at “astronauts”.

Frau im Mond (1929):

Futurist Fritz Lang explains the basics of rocket travel.

Now, Voyager (1942):

Bette Davis pleads, “Oh Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the
stars”.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968):

Stanley Kubrick’s ode to evolution.

Moonraker (1979):

Bond is up in Hugo Drax’s private space station.

An American Werewolf in London (1981):

American tourists on the attack after the Moon brings on a “change”.

Apollo 13 (1995):

Tom Hanks in peril.

In the Shadow of the Moon (2006):

What it’s like to bounce across the surface. Part of BFI’s One Giant Leap
(www.bfi.org.uk).

***

9. Predictions that never came to pass

Space holidays:

Scientists at Nasa predicted trips to the Moon would be commonplace and
intrepid holidaymakers would be packing their bags for Mars. Not yet.

Space hotels:

In 1967, Barron Hilton, of the Hilton Hotels Corporation, predicted space
tourists would stay in Hiltons orbiting the Earth by 2000. They don’t.

Scheduled space flight:

Shuttles would “carry passengers, supplies to and from orbit on a routine
aircraft-like basis”. Er, nope!

Nuclear-powered rocket engines:

By 1972 those dreams lay in tatters as the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle
Application (Nerva) programme was terminated.

Moon lab:

In 1969, Isaac Asimov said: “The Moon offers an ideal spot for an
astronomic observatory.” We have a space station but no Moon base.

Mars mission:

The US was to send automatic spacecraft to Mars, followed by a manned mission
by the 1980s.

Alien life:

The Apollo 11 crew spent 21 days in quarantine on their return to Earth. No
alien bugs, no more quarantine.

Moon “landing” exposé:

Conspiracy theorists claim missions to the Moon were actually fakes and were
filmed in a TV studio.

Moon colony:

The landings would be the first step to a settlement.

***

10. Space spin-offs

Pot Noodle:

Owes its existence to Nasa scientists, who developed freeze-drying technology
for the Apollo missions. Sorry, but it’s true.

Teflon:

Reason your eggs don’t stick. Developed for astronauts’ spacesuits.

Space blankets:

Where would marathon runners be without these sheets coated with a thin film
of metal that reflects heat?

Air wear:

Nike Jordan trainers and the like were born out of an idea for a shock
absorber for astronauts’ helmets.

Fireproof cloth:

Developed for use in spacesuits and vehicles: coming to an oven glove near
you.

Dustbuster:

Black & Decker developed a portable drill for the Apollo Moon landings,
and a million mini vacuum cleaners and electric screwdrivers were also born.

Pumping iron:

Workouts developed for astronauts led to the invention of the Shuttle 2000-1,
precursor to the gym/ torture machines you sweat over today.

Life support:

Much of the technology that would keep you hanging on in intensive care was
first used to monitor astronauts during the early space flights.

Scratchproof lens coating:

Carbon treatment to protect astronauts’ helmets is the reason why your
Ray-Bans stay shiny.

SOS life rafts:

They inflate in 12 seconds and were developed for Apollo mission

View full article here


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ezine Article Board

Author:

This author has published 5774 articles so far.

Comments are closed