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Forum Home - Go Back > Off Topic > Chit Chat Mars So Bright Mars So Bright

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Old 05-20-2016, 06:48 AM   #1
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Mars So Bright

There's meant to be some gorgeous views of Mars this weekend. I, of course, being a LOD sufferer, will not be seeing it because the local weather is once again predicted to be nothing but a mess.

But for those of you who have an interest at all and clear skies as well, have a look up at that bright spot and think on Curiosity toiling faithfully away for a few minutes! *grin*
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:32 PM   #2
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"...Gagarin was the first back in 1961.
When, like Icarus, undaunted, he climbed to reach the sun.
And he knew he might not make it, for it's never hard to die
But he lifted off the pad and rode a fire in the sky.

Yet a higher goal was calling and we vowed to reach it soon.
And we gave ourselves a decade to put fire on the moon.
And Apollo told the world we can do it if we try.
There was one small step and a fire in the sky.

Then two decades from Gagarin, twenty years to the day
Came a shuttle named Columbia to open up the way.
And they said she's just a truck, but she's a truck that's aimin' high.
See her big jets burning, see her fire in the sky.

Yet the gods do not give lightly of the powers they have made
And with Challenger and seven, once again the price is paid
Though a nation watched her falling, yet a world could only cry
As they passed from us to glory, riding fire in the sky.

Now the rest is up to us - there's a future to be won.
We must turn our faces outward, we will do what must be done.
For no cradle lasts forever, every bird must learn to fly.
And we're goin' to the stars, see our fire in the sky
Yes, we're going to the stars, see our fire in the sky."

--Dr Jordin Kare, Fire in the Sky, 1991

Fire in Sky (filk)

Here's to hoping we'll recover the daring to put fire on Mars.

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Old 05-21-2016, 11:14 PM   #3
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I was gonna give you some positive rep for sharing that as I had never heard it before. It will definitely now be added to my collection of "space songs". The system is telling me that I have to spread rep around first, so maybe down the road a pace.

I have lucked out this evening (which is unusual) and the predicted storms went somewhere else for a while. I did get to spend some pleasant time looking at tonight's Blue Moon and bright Mars combo. At least until Stalker Neighbor couldn't resist being a pest.

It was grand while it lasted, though, with even an owl and a few deer in the boneyard across the street.

I have hazy memories of the first moon landing, though I was only a toddler. Very hazy, really, but enough to have a lifelong interest in the space program. Ron McNair is from my home state. I was 19 when we lost Challenger - folding clothes at my sister's house and watching the launch. Drove me to my knees. The same with Columbia. And though I don't remember it - the Apollo 1 crew.

Got a little teary when the remaining shuttles were retired.

Even now I tend to watch launches and EVAs when I can, send my name up on lunar orbiters and the recent Orion missions when NASA sets those pages up, and follow all the other space programs such as JAXA, ESA, CNSA, KARI and so forth. Very excited about the new Webb Space Telescope project and the recent announcement concerning gravitational waves. All from a layman's perspective of course. Certainly not an expert.

I have memories of men on the moon. I'm hoping to live long enough to see a landing on Mars. Though I'm rapidly heading into crone-hood, so they need to get on it! *grin*

Och... got a bit rambly there. I promise not to start on primatology.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:35 AM   #4
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I barely remember Apollo 11. I was not quite 5 at the time.

I remember playing hooky to see Colombia launch. Twenty two years later early on a Saturday morning, I was getting out of my car to go into our research machine shop in Fort Worth, when I heard I boom. I looked up and watched what I thought was a meteor disintegrate. An hour later, I would learn I had seen Colombia break up.

I'm a child of the Apollo era. Gene Kranz was my hero. I wanted to be an engineer. One of my great trills was was interviewing for a position at Goddard Space Flight for a spectroscopist position with an element of the Earth Observing System program. Got offered a juicy University position two days after the interview. Same kind of research just funded by the DOD. But one can alway play what if, LOL.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:54 AM   #5
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Growing up on the East Coast of Florida, we could always see the launches from the deck, the beach, or looking out the back door. We had just sold the house, and moved inland when Challenger happened. We had just gotten back from the store, and I flipped on the TV just in time to see if blast off. I dropped a bag of sugar when I saw it explode. I didn't realize it had exploded, just knew that regular launches didn't look like that. A sad day.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:05 AM   #6
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Mornin' ladies! I did have to finally tell myself to go to bed last night. Now I'm sitting here with a giant Cthulhu coffee (I have a Cthulhu mug that was a b-day gift a few years back which holds way more coffee in one go than a sane person should risk). And of course, procrastinating about getting out in the yard for the latest skirmish in "The War of the Dandelions" (I am losing - badly).

My memories of Apollo 11 mostly consist of a very vague notion of the TV set and the burnt orange couch in the den, and sketches of people (my family, I assume) being excited. Very, very rough as I was only 3 (or actually, not quite 3, I think).

I'm the first to admit as well, as I'm approaching the completion of my 50th turn around the sun, that these memories (the human brain being what it is) could easily be created images from later experiences and information. But they feel like a memory and at this point there's no way for me to determine their accuracy. After all, the TV was in the den and the couch was burnt orange through my entire childhood, so that would match the memory. *laughs* This memory also is in the aluminium house versus the cinder block house, but I can't be sure of those things or when I was in each up to a certain age. I have memories of both. I couldn't tell you why my family switched back and forth between them a few times in my earliest years.

That's a grand story you have there, OLC, about your brush with NASA. Don't we all play the "might've been" game once in a while?

So - considering your field, you must have been having quite an experience with the New Horizon's flyby of Pluto? I watched it through something I downloaded from NASA on my work computer. I think it might be called NASA Eyes or somesuch, but I won't be back in the office for another week to check - using vacation time to work on the house. As I remember it, there were instruments measuring all sorts of wavelengths as it flew by. Not sure if that's what you mean about your area (will have to fall down the spectroscopy rabbit hole another day).

Looks like you and Subeeds both have "eyes on" experiences with the shuttle missions. Mine have all been televised experiences as I am not in a location for anything else. I know that sometimes equipment will pass through on trucks though I've never caught that either. Someone local did get a pic of Orion coming through, it seems - I remember seeing that somewhere.

I have a battered old jean jacket that I sew patches that are meaningful or interesting to me on - leftover shades of the 70s, I suppose - and the young folk I work around think it's kinda weird. *laughs* It's got some mission patches (reproductions, I'm sure)and NASA pins on it - the Challenger patch in pride of place. I should try to get a picture of it before it falls apart completely - the poor, raggedy, threadbare thing that it is.

*sigh* Ugh. Dandelions. Wish I could train the wee beasties to take care of those for me. Well - that's me, off.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:31 PM   #7
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I have only read news about apollo 11 and I'm amased how they successfully did the apollo 11 mission.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tresha View Post
I have only read news about apollo 11 and I'm amased how they successfully did the apollo 11 mission.

If you haven't seen it, In the Shadow of the Moon is a pretty powerful documentary on the subject.

In the Shadow of the Moon
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:25 PM   #9
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Dandelions. Time for wine, LOL.
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Old 05-24-2016, 07:26 AM   #10
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On dandelions, I think I'd just leave them be if the city wouldn't ride my back about them.
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