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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tranquillity Base; The Eagle Has Landed

When "Buzz" Aldrin stepped out onto the surface of the Moon, after Neil Armstrong's famous words from Tranquillity Base, and looked around he coined the phrase, "Magnificent Desolation." The Moon surface itself was colorless gray tones of powdery dust and rock that reflected the Sun's light onto the Earth's terminator between Day and Night. It was reported the Moon dust and rock smelled 'burned.' The only color the Apollo 11 crew observed was the Earth rise of blue seas, white wisps of clouds and ice and the earth tones of continental greens, browns and reds over a quarter million miles; an eight day round trip. It was one small step for a man and one giant leap for Mankind. They put men on the Moon. Several months later a discrepancy in voltage of the mechanisms that stirred the tanks of liquid gasses aboard Apollo 13 caused a catastrophic ignition and explosion that severely crippled the vessel. Only by the dedicated team of engineers on the ground improvising a survival program and skillfully and bravely implemented by the Apollo 13 crew did it go down in history as "a successful failure."

From those first steps off world into the Universe people would reference the efforts in relation to more mundane matters saying, "They can send men to the Moon but they can't solve problems here on Earth." Indeed, technology and science learns and grows while the Earth and it's intelligent people die. True, throughout history the planet's sheer volume of human population is estimated to have increased to about one billion and maintained that level until only the last Century or two when it has attained about eight billion currently and grows exponentially apparently in direct response to science and technology innovation. There is enough food, medicine, and so on for everyone. The abuse, neglect and misappropriation of resources and people is deliberately manipulated by various sources that maintain control anonymously out of public access. These things cannot be seen and heard from out in space and time.

A knowledgable and skilled Troubleshooter can intuitively ascertain and pursue the nature of a problem by crafting five Why questions; each asked in response to the answer of the previous question on the subject. The Apollo 13 engineers pooled their resources to improvise and adapt a survival system using these Troubleshooter skills resulting in "a successful failure." Imposing upon themselves the limitations of available resources on board and the circumstances of time and materiel they devised a System for survival that succeeded in the end. Those engineers possessed good qualities and practical knowledge.

I admire them. Still, for every "successful failure" there are ten disasters. Because the space program falls under military expenditures they tend to view loss of life as "collateral damage" or "a sacrifice" for one's country. In Civilian terms I see the loss of individual lives as tragic and question the value of it all. The Military and Industrial complex was questioned by General Eisenhower. What really are "we" accomplishing by sanctioning the disposal of so many individual lives to the cause of these Corporations? I strongly suggest the cost/benefit ratio of losing so much blood, bone and flesh of individuals is too high to justify the continued existence of this Corporate Military/Industrial Complex and Plutocracy. The "too big to fail" concept is typical of Corporations.