Posts filed under ‘Space Exploration’

Neil Armstrong – When I Was Eight

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

When I was eight Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I, like everyone I knew, watched. It is difficult to state how important it was at the time. All the adults talked about it in whispers, as if they were in church. It was so beyond our lives that we found it hard to comprehend. At a time when air-travel was still rare for many flying to the moon was terrifying and wonderful. I still wanted to be a nurse when I was eight but remember how many 8 year-olds changed their minds and wanted to be an astronaut.

I was very small when the first US manned flights were televised. Grainy pictures in black and white of the take-offs. I still experience a shiver when we watch countdowns and blasters spewing flames for miles before, it seems ever so slowly, we see the rocket/shuttle rise up into the sky and beyond. I have often wondered what the astronauts felt when they went into this brave new world. Fear? Excitement? If it were me I think the predominate feeling would be panic-filled nausea:)

The death of Neil Armstrong does close a chapter in some way. They chose well when they selected him as the first person to walk on the moon. He was a man of principle, shy but with a strong belief, in God, man and his family. He was honourable and brave and had no truck with ‘celebrity’. I wonder what he thought about those who assume that status by virtue of appearing in a reality television show. He had a strong sense of humour in any interview I saw, I think he would have smiled at how the world had changed in the fifty years since he hung up his spacesuit. Wouldn’t it be good if some ‘celebs’ took a moment to think how their achievements stack up against those of Neil Armstrong? I doubt it will happen but one can always hope.

I have written about space travel and its cost before here. I stand by that opinion, to me the cost of space travel is too high when many parts of the Earth struggle against hunger and disease. However, I do not decry the achievements of those who have taken that route, it is man’s instinct to challenge and explore and that I applaud. Science and scientists are necessary but it is always my hope that they turn their minds to making our world better too.

I admire the man Neil Armstrong, he carried his life well. I am sure his family mourn him deeply but will smile when they think of him and his goodness. I wish them well, they will suffer his absence. He has left a legacy for the rest of us, we know his name. When we think of space we will always think of him. Goodbye and rest well Mr. Armstrong.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 26, 2012 at 9:32 am 2 comments

Ask the Obvious Question?

A little reminder of why I do this. The premise is simple. You donate to a childrens charity and comment on this blog about the donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. Want to know more? Please read the About Lesley page….

I had, as is my wont, a wander through the news pages today. I found this – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15904408, NASA has launched the most ‘capable’ machine ever built to land on Mars. Read the full text, it is a great story and evidence again of man’s committment to exploration and science.

I am in awe of the brains that drive these scientific initiatives. Knowing our brains are mere neurons sparking small electrochemical signals I am astounded that we have such variety in the Arts and Sciences. I envy all great brains that bring beauty and new discoveries day after day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have the talent to move or astound? I always wanted to possess artistic talent but alas have none. I literally struggle to draw a straight line using a ruler. I am told I have some talent with words but I just witter away on here and hope to make people think. This is not false modesty, I have read too many great words from others, I know my place:)

Back to the NASA Rover, aptly named Curiosity. Launched today, they hope it lands safely next August. If it does, it will roam Mars sending images and collecting samples from the planet’s surface. Hopefully it will allow the scientists who monitor the output to determine if the Red Planet can or could have supported life in any form. Mind-boggling eh? It is stirring stuff.

However, (you must have known it was coming), this one mission is costing $2.5 billion. Two and a half billion dollars. Whoa Nelly. That is a lot of cash. All that money and brainpower. I wonder. If that funding and those brains were put into ending poverty and cruelty to children how much difference could it make? They say that it would take $30 billion a year to start the agricultural programs to end world hunger. The costs for the Curiosity module wouldn’t cover a month but does that mean we shouldn’t consider it?

I add another link for you. This is a link to an article on the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation’s website. The article is a few years old but the figures still have the power to shock me as I know the sitation hasn’t changed that much. Please read – http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000853/index.html

Once you have read this then answer me one question. Which do you prefer?

This?

Courtesy of BBC website

Or this?

Perhaps we can have both; I would like to think so…..

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

November 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment


Calendar

August 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category