On the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, space historian Robert Zimmerman discussed the history and triumph of the Apollo space program & how the U.S. was able win the race to put a man on the moon. The Apollo program was an amazing achievement, as well as a difficult one that we have yet to repeat in the last 40 years, he said. The technology they used was very sophisticated considering the state of computers back then. For instance, inside the Apollo capsule they had less computing power than what's contained in a digital watch of today. The main calculations had to be relayed to them from Mission Control, he explained.
Zimmerman believes that because the Apollo program was government sponsored it sent out the wrong lesson-- that such feats as the Moon landing can only be achieved through a government organization such as NASA. Now, other parts of the word are taking up the mantle for space exploration such as China, India, Japan, and Europe. India has found it easier to deal with the Russians and Chinese, rather than the US, in purchasing equipment for its space program, he noted.
Russia's goal has always been to build an interplanetary spaceship that could travel to such destinations as Mars, and through its work the ISS, it has explored the medical effects on astronauts in space, at least somewhat more so than the US, Zimmerman commented. He suggested that real efforts will be made to return astronauts to the moon within the next decade, but they won't necessarily come from America.
First hour guest, Tim Miller with FlatSigned Press talked about his conversations with various Apollo astronauts. He first became acquainted with astronaut Wally Schirra in connection with his autograph business, and then met a number of other astronauts through him. Buzz Aldrin and some of the others told him that they'd seen UFOs during their missions, he said.
New NASA photos suggest that a large impact has occurred on Jupiter, with a possible comet-sized object hitting its south polar region. The new dark "scar" on the planet was spotted on July 20th-- exactly 15 years earlier, Jupiter was bombarded by comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. More here.
Bumper music from Monday July 20, 2009