April 04, 2010

Apollo 13

What a movie!

I had seen it twice before and so naturally I was thinking that it would not be such a thrilling experience to watch it for the third time or so ...

And so I was ecstatically surprised as I enjoyed it so much watching it again ...

So many touching moments ...

A few random ones that come to mind ... how Ken Mattingly got pulled out at the last moment because he might have had measles ... I was thinking how if I put in say a couple of years of effort into something and the project got cancelled at the last moment, how I would feel ..

So many cinematically brilliant moments that I find so emotionally touching ... the usual stuff associated with spece exploration which get me 'high' like some drugs ...

How Americans had lost interest in 'going to the Moon' by the turn of Apollo 13 and how suddenly everyone was interested once the accident happened leading to all the drama and suspense ...

How Jim Lovell tells the Congress members about imagining if Columbus had returned from the New World and if nobody had bothered to go back ... of course, humans have done precisely that more or less with respect to manned lunar exploration ... but that's par for the course, I guess, considering the state of things overall on the surface of the planet ... too many folks overall plagued with too many 'earthly' problems ... basic nutrition, basic healthcare, too many moms dying during childbirth, too many kids working/begging on the streets ...

Shows what an extraordinary feat it was ... going to the Moon in 1970 and in 1969 ... and Indians are still mostly living in the 1800's in my opinion ... it's still the Victorian Age here in India ... indeed, there ARE two queens in India at the present moment ... one that lives in Rashtrapati Bhavan and one who lives at 10 Janpath ... What a country!

But the IT guys are doing pretty well, thank you! Just wanted to put that on the record ...

Going back to Apollo, imagine the irony in the fact that most of the stellar achievements of Apollo happened while President Nixon was in office and so he got to make most of those historical phone calls ...

If he hadn't had to resign, perhaps a few NASA facilities would have been named in his honor ... Johnson Space Center might well have been Nixon Space Center ... or, perhaps not ... Texas is Johnson country, I guess ...

What's there in California? NASA Ames, that's what ...

Anyway, what a movie ... I wish I would see the movie once every month ... or, would that be an waste of time?

Cut to the present ... yet another age in space exploration is about to end with the retirement of the shuttles ...

And the amazing thing is that there are no successors!!!

Perhaps America has decided that it's rather pointless to explore the near Earth regions using humans ... too costly perhaps or may be they have done enough of it over the last 50 years.

Well, new comers are coming into the picture ... India and China who want to send humans into space now ... reinventing the wheel all over again 50 years since those days of superpower rivalry ...

Well, it's good I guess

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