Claiming the Moon - "The Silent Space Race"
It seems that everyone has been pretty busy engulfing themselves into the virtual world through mobile devices. We have forgotten to look at the world around us, interact with others, and follow up on the greatest accomplishments laid upon us. Only during challenging times do we take upon ourselves the motivation to excel and innovate.
China’s Chang’e-3 lunar lander and Yutu Rover landed on the moon December 14, 2013. It has been over 3 decades since the last craft landed on the Moon. Vladimis Popovkin, head of Roscosmos (the Russian Federal Space Agency) is planning to establish a manned moon base by 2030. Yuichi Yamaura, an associate executive director of the Japanese Space Agency has also targeted the moon.
This is why we have built Earthrise Space… to explore the lunar surface, flourish from its resources, and be evermore so inspired by the view of our planet. John F. Kennedy wrote a memorandum to the Vice President on April 20th, 1961 that stated the following:
"April 20, 1961
MEMORANDUM FOR VICE PRESIDENT
In accordance with our conversation I would like for you as Chairman of the Space Council to be in charge of making an overall survey of where we stand in space.
- Do we have a chance of beating the Soviets by putting a laboratory in space, or by a trip around the moon, or by a rocket to land on the moon, or by a rocket to go to the moon and back with a man. Is there any other space program which promises dramatic results in which we could win?
- How much additional would it cost?
- Are we working 24 hours a day on existing programs. If not, why not? If not, will you make recommendations to me as to how work can be speeded up.
- In building large boosters should we put out emphasis on nuclear, chemical or liquid fuel, or a combination of these three?
- Are we making maximum effort? Are we achieving necessary results?
I have asked Jim Webb, Dr. Weisner, Secretary McNamara and other responsible officials to cooperate with you fully. I would appreciate a report on this at the earliest possible moment."
“This led directly to the Apollo program and followed a week of discussion with the White House on how to best respond to the challenge to U.S. interests posed by the 12 April 1961 orbital flight of Yuri Gagarin.”
Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson replied to Kennedy’s response on April 28th, 1961. A key point that can be taken out his response was:
“This country should be realistic and recognize that other nations, regardless of their appreciation of our idealistic values, will tend to align themselves with the country which they believe will be the world leader---the winner in the long run. Dramatic accomplishments in space are being increasingly identified as a major indicator of world leadership.
The U.S. can, if it will, firm up its objectives and employ its resources with a reasonable chance of attaining world leadership in space during this decade. This will be difficult but can be probable even recognizing the head start of the Soviets and the likelihood that they will continue to move forward with impressive success. In certain areas, such as communications, navigation, weather, and mapping, the U.S. can and should exploit its existing advance position.
If we do not make the strong effort now, the time will soon be reached when the margin of control over space and over men’s minds through space accomplishments will have swung so far on the Russian side that we will not be able to catch up, let alone assume leadership.”
To see the full memorandum, you can visit: http://history.nasa.gov/Apollomon/apollo2.pdf
Overton Brooks, chair of the powerful House Committee of Science and Astronautics wrote a memorandum to the Vice President on May 4th, 1961, and the key point that can be taken out of his response was:
“…the United States must do whatever is necessary to gain unequivocal leadership in Space Exploration.”
President Kennedy on May 25th, 1961 addressed congress with his “Urgent National Needs” speech.
Credit: U.S. Government
The claims that are being made today have an inclination to surmount the moon…
“Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available…a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.” – Fred Hoyle, 1948
Credit: Planetary Collective
Facilitating the next generation of lunar exploration is key for the future of space exploration through hands-on inquiry based learning to motivate and nurture aspiring STEM scholars.
The Moon Is Just the Beginning…
“We’ve always defined ourselves…by the ability to overcome the impossible…and we count these moments…these moments when we dare to aim higher... to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements… but we lost all that… and perhaps we’ve just forgotten… that we are still pioneers, and we’ve barely begun, and that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us… that our destiny… lies above us.” – Interstellar: Christopher Nolan