Friday, July 20, 2007

Man on the Moon

Word Count - 1230
Previous - 11,393
Total - 12,623

Well, since I'm not finished with writing for the day, I'll post the count later tonight when I close up shop. Having said that, it's not going bad, but I wish it was going better! Our Crazy Blog Serial Challenge is picking up speed. If you missed today's check it out at! You will note that Miss Amarinda has left me quite a mess to clear up. But never fear, I'll persevere leaving a new quandry for Miss Kelly.

Today, thirty-eight years ago, the first man landed on the moon. I realize that many of you weren't around for that. And because you weren't around, you might take it for granted. Please don't. Men died in the race to the moon. If you stopped ten people on the street, they probably couldn't name them and that's a national shame.

I was interviewed on Kelly's blog to today - - and one of her questions was about famous people. It occurs to me that our astronauts ought to be famous with national hero status. Why aren't they? Why, when we have such men and women of stature, are we fascinated by the petty doings of movie stars and sports players? What does that say about us as a people?

Why aren't we holding our true national heroes up to our children as examples? Ask your child what it means when a soldier is awarded a purple heart or a medal of honor. Can they tell you? Do you know? Ask your child what it means to win the Newberry or Caldicott award. Do you know?

Perhaps, we need to start demonstrating our values at home. It could be that we need to start talking about the real heroes/heroines and role models. Its way past sad when our kids don't know who wrote our Declaration of Independence or our Constititution. Its sadder still when half of our citizens cannot recite the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the first stanza of the Star Spangled Banner.

There is remarkably little fanfare on this anniversary. I daresay if it was the thirty-eighth Superbowl, we would be inundated with all sorts of facts and figures. That's too bad. So here are some random facts you may not know.

On January 31, 1958, Explorer 1 became the first artificial satellite launched into space by the United States. Onboard was a cosmic ray detector designed to measure the radiation environment in Earth orbit.

On August 25, 1932 Amelia Earhart set three records for women flyers: the first non-stop U.S. crossing, the longest distance record, and a coast-to-coast record time.

On October 14, 1947, in the rocket powered Bell X-1, Capt. Charles E. Yeager flew faster than sound for the first time.

Did you know that improved hurricane forecasts, made possible by NASA satellites such as the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), can save as much as $1,000,000 per mile (1.6 km) of coast evacuated?

The Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft landed in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans when they returned to Earth.

Did you know that the first African-American woman in space was Dr. Mae Jemison? She was selected for the astronaut program in June 1987 and served as the science mission specialist on STS-47 Spacelab-J (September 12-20, 1992).

Eileen M. Collins was the first female commander of the space shuttle. She and her crew launched aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on the STS-93 mission in July 1999.

On October 11, 1984 Katherine Sullivan was the first U.S. woman to walk in space. During STS-41G, she and Commander Dave Leestma successfully conducted a 3-1/2 hour Extravehicular Activity (EVA) to demonstrate the feasibility of actual satellite refueling.

All facts were taken from the NASA page
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  1. I remember the first man on the moon space walk.I was maybe five and we all had to watch it at school. At the time being 5 year olds it meant nothing to us.
    I also agree we forget the important things - not just moon landings but everyday heroes who rush in to save someone because they "did not think about" they just did it. Or the police officer who gets shot because it was his job to serve and protect or the firemen who rush into burning buildings every day. We seriously have to get a grip

  2. We have so many heroes around us. I wonder why we're reading about drugged out actresses?

  3. Personally I am not - but then I don't need the latest ipod, clothes etc. It's gonna sound old fashioned and crotchety - but who cares - if you parents raised you properly you have more sense and respect for yourself and others