Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Memo to RMN: In the event of a moon disaster: On Roger Ebert's Journal

Thanks for this. It was often rumored that a prepared speech was drafted. As a kid on Long Island, where at one time the Grumman Corporation was the single largest employer, 25,000, I had contact with some of those in aerospace as it was where the Lunar Excursion Modules (L.E.M.) were built. Grumman started as an aviation machine shop, and I was told in the same tradition, parts were manufactured by various small firms, so no one place had "the big picture" as told to me by one in that part of the organizing. His son would later marry an EDO company's daughter, that company formed an alliance with Neil Armstrong's company, to bid on government contracts that now have a "high bar" to get over to bid. I thought part of the LEM "stick" housing was machined in a barn behind my folks house in Centereach, NY, having wandered in there one day and so told. Glad they landed safely!

January 22, 2011: The RMN that Roger Ebert refers to is the then President of the U.S. when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, Richard Milhouse Nixon, not the Réunion des musées nationaux, though when he later lived in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, he was often seen frequenting the French restaurants in New York City. Water damage has made that former residence, unfortunately, not salvageable, said to be owned by a Japanese pension fund company as an investment. Perhaps American preservationists should have taken a more active role, Japan so far away.

The original LEM "Eagle" I am given to understand crashed back into the Moon at an unknown location. The other LEM's to have carried astronauts (total 12) to the surface of the Moon and back into lunar orbit for the "rendezvous" and return to Earth, were crashed into the Moon for seismic experiments, the analyses of the data were in the news recently. Two independent researches have shown that the center or the core of the Moon may indeed be molten.

Speaking of preservation, there's a discussion about the "artifacts" of space and how they could or should be preserved and legal definitions described. Here's an article on "Space Archaeology" in the LA Times.

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