It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
I want to talk about space, not as spin offs, not as weather satellites, no.
I want to talk to you about space as culture.
Space, as culture.
You know the first hunk of hardware that had the power to exit earth atmosphere was the V2 rocket. Verner Von Brown and everyone knew that if we have any future in space it will have to borrow some of that technology if not all of it.
The 1950s descends upon us. You remember the v2 rocket, it was kind of bullet shaped, had these huge fins? Fins. CARS had fins in the 1950s! Where do you think those fins came from? I propose a test, you could probably dig up the designers of those cars and they would probably just say “well fins just look cool” they are probably not even thinking about the v2 rocket, even if they are it's probably not in their frontal lobe. But our cars had fins. When did the fins go away? When we learned that the v2 shape and the fins is not the shape we are going to need to get to the moon.
Saturn five emerges, the fins go away. What happened to the fins? So maybe the designer thought it's played itself out. Or maybe deep down inside space was operating on their creativity.
So what happens, the 60s are underway. We are going to the moon, everybody knows it. Everyone is innovating, we have an innovative culture, you know this because every day a space story garners the headlines. Something new to think about daily. Each mission previously more adventurous than the previous one.
So when did we go to the moon? That was 1968. Everyone was dreaming about tomorrow, thats what the world fair was all about. It wasn't about yesterday, or today, but about tomorrow. The kind of tomorrow that could only be brought into the present by scientists and engineers. And people knew this.
How else is space influencing, ok how about the uni-sphere. Gorgeous Earth just sitting there. It's got three rings around it. Ask the designers, they will probably say that the three orbits of John Glenn did not influence them, but the rings are there, and they are going polar, not equatorial.
The 1960s is the bloodiest decade in american history since the civil war since the 1860s. Servicemen are killed weekly, reported in by the papers, the civil rights movement playing out, campus unrest.
The bloodiest year in that most bloody of decades? 1968. The Tet offensive. Martin Luther King assassinated. JFK assassinated. Yet somehow we were still able to dream about tomorrow. It was still in us, it still mattered. It's what birthed the star trek television series.
The twilight zone was also heavily influenced by space. Our presence in space is effecting not only the engineers and the mathematicians and the scientists, it's effecting the creative dimension of that which we call culture. We are living it at every turn. Hardly what I would call special interest.
What happens December 1968, how do you cap off that year? Apollo 8. A lot of people have never heard of it, it's a very unappreciated mission. Excuse me, that was the first time anyone ever left Earth, with a destination in mind. Figurating around the moon. The photo of Earth rising over the lunar landscape is iconic.
That photo, we all know it, Earth Rise over the Moon. There was Earth, not as the map maker would have you identify to it as, no it was not color coded with boundaries. It was seen as nature intended it to be view2ed. Oceans, land, clouds.
We went to the moon; and we discovered Earth.
And I claim we discovered Earth for the first time.