Yuri’s Night Out: Celebrating 55 Years of Humans in Space

Posted by DrEdwardHudgins 3 years, 8 months ago to News
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On “Yuri’s Night Out” celebrate the first human in space and the technology and liberty necessary for future achievements.
SOURCE URL: http://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/5986-yuri-s-night-out-celebrating-55-years-of-humans-in-space


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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 8 months ago
    The author makes the point that the old left knew the wonder of achievement but favored an organization that would ask the impossible and produce failure after failure. But he does not address this point: on whose authority, and under whose auspices, should human beings go into space at all?

    Rand specifically (in her essays "Apollo 11" and "Apollo and Dionysius") said the government ought never have anything to do with the exploration of space per se. That, she said, was a matter best left to private enterprise, strictly under private control.

    Perhaps she did not see the possible military applications of space exploration. Or perhaps she merely preferred that private individuals or companies alone explore space.

    After all, recall her list of the three (and only three) proper functions of government: police, military, and judiciary. The only military reason to put men in space is to set up a space "fort" or "arsenal" or "dockyard." ("The Congress shall have the power...to exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever,...over such places as may be purchased with the consent of the legislatures of the States in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings." From the U.S. Constitution.)

    But the only things any of the Project Apollo astronauts did was to set up seismic and other experiments on the moon, collect samples, and bring them back. Then we have that ridiculous Moon Treaty, that is just waiting for the first resourceful-enough military to violate it.

    I can foresee mining operations on the moon--water ice from the poles, tri-alphium (helium-3) from anywhere on the surface (as possible thermonuclear fuel), and maybe minerals, if one digs deep enough. (I suspect the asteroids will yield nothing you can't find in common ordinary stone that litters the ground on earth.) All that stands in the way, I'd say, is a bureaucracy dedicated to the proposition that space is a government preserve and reservation.

    Comments?
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 8 months ago
    I voted +1, but I have to begin with my post to MSK's OL:

    I have to point to Ayn Rand's essay, "The Monument Builders." Space travel was technically feasible in the steam age of Jules Verne. Willey Ley tells the story of the Germans around von Braun having called all their committee supporters to a roundtable because they needed a special pump to handle the booster stage. They thought that one would have to be specially created. A representative from some firm or other suggested that they contact the firm that makes fire engines, because those pumps are pretty good.

    ==> "Once the Soyuz began to orbit the Earth, the failures began. Antennas didn't open properly. Power was compromised. Navigation proved difficult. The next day's launch had to be canceled. And worse, Komarov's chances for a safe return to Earth were dwindling fast." -- http://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/... <==


    Collectivism prevents space travel, and always had. Two world wars - the first, especially - drained the resources and the will of the world. Remove World War One and we would have had a Lunar colony by 1950.

    I am enthusiastic about space and always have been. Always. Before the loss of Challenger, I had applied for the "Journalist in Space" competition. I was facing Walter Cronkite and John Denver, so I was at the back of the line. Still, I learned to fly, and to write about aviation. And I have a soft spot in my heart for those old Bolsheviks, of which Ayn Rand was (romantically) one: big dreams, big ideas, women in engineering... But for all of that, the USSR threw human lives at every problem. We throw money. Which way of life do you prefer?

    I also note that America sent animals into space, as did the USSR, but we brought them back alive. It was a sore point with our own astronauts that we were sending chimpanzees to do a man's job, and therefore sending men to do the work of chimps. So, the Mercury Seven "altered the experiment" and made themselves part of the planning and execution process.

    As I said on the Rebirth of Reason site: "When asked about "his" achievement, Gagarin demurred and said that it was the entire Soviet people who had done this. Here in the USA, Alan Shepard, John Glenn and the others all thanked the people at NASA, and the contractors, and all the others, but never was it the broad brush of "we the people" always just "everyone we cannot name."

    I have a medal made from the Apollo 11 booster. It was given to contractors by way of thanks. I have a little medallion made with a little bit of the 1000 grains of silver taken to the Moon. The USSR gave up on the Moon. They had no way to monetize it."
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    • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
      Mike, in what way were a you a contractor for Apollo? I had an uncle who did some welding work on something for the shuttle.
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      • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 8 months ago
        Emma, I did not work on the Apollo project. That medal was one that I collected as a numismatist. I did work on a Shuttle project at KSC, and had two other part-time assignments with NASA, also at KSC. As admirable as their work is, NASA is not an organization that encourages initiative.
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      • Posted by dukem 3 years, 8 months ago
        I recall being a young junior CEC Naval officer in Seal Beach when North American Aviation was building part of the future Apollo space craft, and how massive it was. I could seem them working on it every day from my trailer office at that site. I had the opportunity to see it moved from that location later on, and a year or two later seeing part of it (or something similar) come back to Long Beach after a flight, blackened with the soot from the flames upon reentry. My dates are a bit sketchy, but it was a proud moment for this young engineer from Kentucky, and I was proud of my country and it's technical abilities. The same organization responsible for that (NASA) now has as its primary goal per Obama as Muslim outreach. You really can't make this stuff up to be more stupid than this sounds.
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
    Some time ago I heard Rush Limbaugh say that during earth hour he turns on every light inside and outside his very large house. I thought that was great.
    I have wondered how a young person today can live without holding human accomplishment as an ultimate ideal, but instead believe that humans are vermin who don't deserve to inhabit the earth.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 8 months ago
      Glad you liked the piece! I see outreach to young people who love technology, who have the values of a Roark but still need the politics of a Galt, as one of our greatest opportunities to advance the values if freedom and reason!
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
        All I had to do was get my 2 children to read Fountainhead one summer at about 15, and they were hooked! Atlas followed shortly thereafter. Your outreach is of prime importance. I think Rand is so perfectly right that the first thing we need to do is expose young people to her writings, but of course I know that's not easy.
        And I enjoy your writing, and think they are perfect for this site.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 8 months ago
      "I have wondered how a young person today can live without holding human accomplishment as an ultimate ideal, but instead believe that humans are vermin who don't deserve to inhabit the earth."
      I think this misanthropy doesn't exist except among people with depression or personal problems. Maybe someone knowledgeable can confirm or correct this, but I suspect rates of misanthropy today are the same as or lower than they were in most of history.
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      • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 8 months ago
        It is ironic that people who look forward to the end of civilization think that they are celebrating achievement. It is a common sentiment here that most people are vermin.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 8 months ago
    When I first went into the camera business, the Japanese products were just starting to flourish. Up to then, no one could make a product even close to the beautifully designed and finished German cameras. Then came Nikon and its imitation Leicas. After a while their innovation had the Germans trying to catch up. Then, a salesman came in one day and showed me a camera made in Germany. East Germany. It was a piece of crap. The lens was of mediocre quality but the construction was shameful. The body was made of base metal, the imitation leather covering was made of what appeared to be paper, and the mechanism clunked away worse than one of its un-exportable cars. I related that to their ability to put a man in space. I admired them. Not for the technical achievement but for having men who were brave enough to ride a rocket into space on a vehicle, that if built like their cameras, required more courage than it seemed possible to anyone without a death wish.
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    • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
      And now our men and women are rocketing into space on Russian vehicles. How's that for irony?
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      • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 8 months ago
        Right.
        I try not to think about it.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
          Your description of the camera was just so vivid that it made me shudder.
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          • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 8 months ago
            I had been into cameras and photography for many years. Most European cameras sold for premium prices. Leica, Hasselblad, etc. Here was a German camera for $69.95. Of course you had to read the fine print "Made in Occupied East Germany." They put the product out under various names, with certain cosmetic changes, but they were all the same. The best that could be said for them was that they were worth the price, when you consider that other European products were in the $300 to $600 price range. (1965+ prices).
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