spoiler alert: i linked this
Talk about some real American heroes...I have been watching Tom Hanks' slick miniseries "From The Earth To The Moon" and it's worth noting how many astronauts in the Apollo program were Michigan alums:
Gemini 4: James McDivitt, Ed White (first American to spacewalk)
Gemini 8: Dave Scott (enrolled at Michigan for one year, enrolled at West Point after that)
Apollo 9: McDivitt, Scott
Apollo 15: Scott, Al Worden, Jim Irwin
NASA flew 27 manned missions comprising 59 total seats up to and including the last landing, and 12% of those seats were filled by UM alums. A few years back Michigan ran an ad with a very tinny The Victors emerging from an orbiting Apollo 15 command module with the caption "an all-UM crew." Sweet!
Semi-OT: Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell spoke at Tom Hanks' American Film Institute lifetime achievement award presentation. Similar to Scott, Lovell enrolled at Wisconsin for two years before being admitted to Annapolis and a street in Milwaukee is named for him. Check out the look on Hanks' face when Lovell is announced:
Because I love being OT lately (see http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/ot-alan-ameche-story ) I figured I would make the a clearly worded subject line (unlike my previous post which absolutely 100% ignores rules about subjects for posts) and let everyone know that Orson Wells was right, Will Smith and the US Marshall from 'The Fugitive' have gone back to work ('MIB III' is soon to be a reality, but a for real reality not just movie reality), ID4, or the non-sense abbreviation for 'Independence Day' is coming soon, and 'Mars Attacks', with all it's famous actors (seriously, look up how many famous people were in such a bad movie) is now 'Saturn's Biggest Moon, Titan, Attacks,' (also known as 'Clash of the Titans'?)because new life may be lurking on Saturn's biggest moon.
For those of you not wanting to read it, the headline is misleading, like most news, to grab your attention and make you read it. Life isn't a huge possibility, but there is some possibility that life forms on Titan are using Hydrogen (rather than Oxygen like on earth) to live. Just thought it was interesting and I know there are a lot of space/NASA nuts in the mgocommunity.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is launching on its last mission at 2:20pm.
Live coverage on NASA TV, the cable news networks, and online at:
< Rant >
TOTALLY OT, but go with me on this anyway, as M is pretty well known for its work with the space program.
The White House today axed the shuttle replacement and all plans for a future trip to the moon. The Moon I don't care about so much. We do need to return, but not until a concrete and ready plan for a permanent encampment, which will require more advanced drives for shorter flights, etc, is ready. I'm not sure if the 2020 Goal left enough time to set that up.
The cancellation of the shuttle replacement, however, is extremely disappointing. The message is quite clear. "We do not need a manned space flight program." And frankly, this is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard.
For ages, one of man's greatest dreams and goals was to reach the stars. We finally do, and 50 years of it is enough? No more? That's downright offensive. We should have such a narrow vision that cutting a program of such grandeur, wonder, and inspiration to protect a political party's grip? The only reason anyone even wants to see NASA's budget cut is because NASA hasn't done anything "epic" lately, thanks to their dramatically cut budget! In my entire life, I have not seen one person leave low earth orbit. I'm a major space freak, and even I am somewhat bored of the space program. It's a wonder school kids today even look up at night.
Furthermore, the new plan is to utilize private industry when we need to put people into space, under the pretense that this saves money from the government budget.
PRIVATE INDUSTRY IS ALREADY WHAT BUILDS OUR SPACECRAFT! There is no NASA Factory somewhere. Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and others are contracted by NASA to design and build our spacecraft. They're not going to do it themselves. There's no money in spaceflight without government contracts.
So all we've really succeeded in doing is demoralizing the space program and hurting its ability to perform its primary task even further, lessening public interest in an important scientific field, and saving maybe a few million in overhead that could have lead to trillions in profitable discoveries and high quality public support... all for a few headlines and maybe a congressional seat.
Good work, White House. You suck.
< /Rant >