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Heinlein and Clarke discuss the Moon landings as they happen

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posted on Oct, 22 2018 @ 09:42 PM
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arstechnica.com...



"Time just stopped for me, I think it stopped for everybody," a 51-year-old Clarke said, describing how it felt to watch the lunar module touch down. "My heart stopped. My breathing stopped."

Cronkite was equally taken aback by what he was witnessing: "I can’t imagine a moment to equal this. The only thing I could imagine is some fellow came forward and could say positively that we were not going to have any more war."

Both Clarke and Heinlein then suggest that such an event might make problems back on Earth seem more trivial and bring the world closer together. While it may not usher in world peace, certainly, it would forever change the planet—and humanity—the authors agreed. Heinlein, then 62, whose novel the Moon is a Harsh Mistress had been published just three years earlier, was especially effusive.

"I think this whole business today has been thought of in too small of terms," he said. "This is the greatest event in all of the history of the human race up until this time. Today is New Year’s Day of Year One. If we don’t change the calendar, historians will do so." By landing on another world, Heinlein asserts, humankind has gone through puberty, confirmation, and a bat mitzvah all at once. "This is the biggest day the human race has ever seen," he adds, "the most important thing since the human race learned to talk."

The two science-fiction luminaries envisioned the Apollo landings as the beginning of human colonization of space. Clarke said he foresaw finding new ways of controlling gravity in space once humans were able to study it free of the constraints of Earth. "When we get into space we'll learn how to control it," he said.

Like Clarke, Heinlein envisioned the Moon landings as just the first step. "I think this is the most hopeful thing that has happened," he said. "I don’t know if we’re going to get rid of war… But I do know that your grandchildren, the descendants of all of us, will be in colonies elsewhere, the human race will not die even if we spoil this planet. It’s going to go on and on and on... We’re going to be at Proxima Centauri before you know it. "

With its low gravity, Heinlein envisioned the Moon as a place where humans could grow old in relative comfort. "Certainly before the end of the century we will have hospitals on the Moon for elderly people to enable them to live quite a lot longer because of their tired hearts under one-sixth gravity, and their fragile bones, and so forth," he said.

Today, some 47 years later, it's rather melancholy-inducing to watch great thinkers wax poetic about the future of humanity in space. Just five more human missions would land on the Moon, and then progress did, in fact, stop. There would be no colonies. No old folks' homes. No one would return to deep space again. Instead of controlling gravity, gravity still controls access to space, and it remains a costly, dangerous trip.


Came across this and I thought i'd share. I'm a fan of Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clark's stories. I've got just about every short story they've writteb and i've always been a huge fan of sci fi from that era. It's pretty cool to watch them discuss and come up with crazy ideas while they watch the moon landing. It does make me a bit sad we took a different path than some of the good thinga envisioned by authors of that time. As much as a lot of sci-fi was inspired.by the pessimistic horror and paranoia of the cold war. There was a lot of hope for the future of humanity and the great things we could do. As much as the world seems to be going down a different path, it's always nice hearing the ideas of people who hoped for the best of humanity.

And...Whatever you believe about the moon landing. It's still pretty cool watching great sci fi authors talking about it as it happened.

edit on 22/10/2018 by dug88 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 22 2018 @ 11:36 PM
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A great find with two minds of Science that are some of the very best.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 12:41 AM
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a reply to: dug88
Its interesting, Heinlein book, the moon is a harsh mistress was entertaining. They were both good writers.

But after watching that video, I see now what this whole make America great thing was about, hearing those two talk is kind of like watching a whole rerun of shows from the 70s, 80s and beyond, were everything was so hopeful and not so lame and drab all the time as it is now.

There is much bliss in ignorance. So ya, it was a much better time back then it seems.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 02:34 AM
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a reply to: galadofwarthethird

Good writers?

Great writers!! Just sayin'.

I was almost six when Apollo 11 landed. I was sitting on the floor of our living room with my parents, my four older sisters, and my grandmother (mom's mom).

My grandmother was born in 1890. She came west with her sister in 1905, the Wright Brothers had only recently flown at Kitty Hawk, and airplanes were a novelty, at best. Sixty four years later, less than a lifetime, men were on the moon. I remember all three had tears in their eyes--I'm a five year old little boy, hadn't even started school yet--but their reactions told me that something truly momentous had just happened. What? I didn't know, I was five... But I'd seen Star Trek on TV ( big ol' black and white console that took up an entire corner of the living room, and was still only a 19"), so landing on another planet was a concept I was familiar with... I was soon disabused of the notion that it was common place to do this...


Age of Steam. Flight. The Jet age. The Atomic Age. Now the Space Age. She lived long enough to see Viking One land on Mars--she told me the story of local reaction to War of the Worlds broadcast--apparently at least one watertower caught a load of buckshot...

It was a time when absolutely anything seemed not only possible, but likely. That has, apparently, gone by the boards in this era of pessimistic outlooks.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 02:52 AM
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Did you know Robert Heinlein invented the water bed?

Also a whole lot of wonderful characters.

Push the button! Pull the switch! Cut the beam!
edit on 10/23/2018 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 02:58 AM
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a reply to: Phage

My favorite character of his was Friday Jones (aka Marjorie Baldwin).

I honestly can't think of a book of his I didn't like...Friday being my favorite.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 03:01 AM
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a reply to: seagull

Not bad, for an artificial human.

He had a good notion of the internet in that one.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: Phage

He certainly did, of course, he had a grasp on a lot of things.

The political Balkanization of North America, in Friday, can be, if you look, seen in the reality that is American politics today.

In its own way, it's quite prophetic--sorta.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 02:02 PM
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Heinlein & Clarke dominated my father's bookshelf and were therefore my gateway to grown up reading, along with Harry Harrison. Read 'Rendezvous with Rama' many times, and wore the pages out of 'Stranger in a Strange Land'.

Here's a snippet of Ray Bradbury on the subject.



Interesting to contrast that with Kurt Vonnegut - I saw an interview with him but can't find the link and he was of the view that we would be better spending the money on Earth first.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 03:58 PM
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I remember all the talk of the 21st century growing up. A sci-fi future.

I look at what it became and it's a bit of a let down.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 04:07 PM
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a reply to: OneBigMonkeyToo

And that's why Vonnegut was suicidal most of his life ... a grim realist with no aspirations to grandeur, but he sure hit a note with many newly cynical teens.

Sure, we step over the starving on our way to the store, figuratively, but we can work to end poverty while aspiring to the stars at the same darned time! The knowledge we acquire from such endeavors will certainly help the average guy on Earth, too, so long as some elitist doesn't withhold knowledge, that is.

Watching those two, am I alone in feeling that the best of America seems dead, now?




edit on 10/23/2018 by Baddogma because: typo-fixo



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 04:11 PM
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originally posted by: Baddogma
a reply to: OneBigMonkeyToo
Watching those two, am I alone in feeling that the best of America seems dead, now?

Well, is it about America, or is it about mankind? Because the Chinese seem pretty hot on the idea of moving into space these days, along with a lot of other countries. So the dream isn't dead, it just got outsourced.

It just highlights what the moon landing was always about. Politics and propaganda.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 04:48 PM
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a reply to: Blue Shift




It just highlights what the moon landing was always about. Politics and propaganda.


Oh, it was all of that, but it was also much, much more. Talk to those of us, like myself, who watched the first landing, then all the others if it was about politics, or propaganda...

Oh, no, not to me. It was Star Trek, come to life, with John Chancellor, Roger Mudd, and Walter Cronkite doing the play by play, and folks like Scott Carpenter giving color commentary.

But, we've seemingly turned away from the stars, and turned inward. Heads down, our smart phones are seemingly for all too many, the world and everything in it. We've stopped, or some of us have, looking towards the horizon.

Forty years ago, if they'd asked for volunteers to go to Mars, screw the risk, we're going--this 15 year old kid would have volunteered...millions, well thousands anyway, would have as well. I wonder what sort of response there'd be today? Even at 55, bad knees and all, in a heart beat I'd board that ark.

Just as my ancestors came across the Atlantic in rickity, leaky, wooden ships that had a good chance of not making landfall on the other side.

Are we so removed from those people? Or the Micronesian's crossing those vast distances of Pacific Ocean? The ancestors of todays First Nations who followed the game trails into North America.



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 09:58 PM
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a reply to: Phage

No i never knew that. Honestly i've read lots of his stories and books but never looked much into his life. I think this is the first time i've actually seen him speaking. Thank you for that though.

a reply to: OneBigMonkeyToo


originally posted by: OneBigMonkeyToo
Heinlein & Clarke dominated my father's bookshelf and were therefore my gateway to grown up reading, along with Harry Harrison. Read 'Rendezvous with Rama' many times, and wore the pages out of 'Stranger in a Strange Land'.

Here's a snippet of Ray Bradbury on the subject.



Interesting to contrast that with Kurt Vonnegut - I saw an interview with him but can't find the link and he was of the view that we would be better spending the money on Earth first.


I think i agree with Vonnegut myself honestly. I've always believed we need to figure things out and take care of things here before trying to colonize other places. I don't thing leaving earth should be a last resort but a branching out after we've stabilized and made earth a good place. The Earth has everything we need and have always needed. We mismanage it and squander it. Wherever we go it will always be more of a challenge than here and we can't even seem to get that right.
edit on 23/10/2018 by dug88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2018 @ 11:19 PM
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a reply to: seagull

I suppose you can call them great writers. I mean haven't read that much on both, in fact still trying to get into one of Heinlein books, read a bit, but kind of just put it aside. But anyways, its kind of like that with most books for me.

Anyways! You forgot the Jetsons.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 12:47 AM
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a reply to: galadofwarthethird

Which one?

Some take a little time to get into. Some others, grab you by the scruff, and haul you on a ride.

But, it's a matter of taste, I suppose. Just like I can not stomach Kurt Vonnegut, I've tried many times over the years and just can't do it. A few chapters in, and I put it aside and don't pick it up again for several years.

As for the Jetsons? I didn't watch 'em very often, of course I saw some of 'em, couldn't hardly help it. I preferred the odd stuff...HR Puffinstuff, etc.




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