I have had a number of people ask me what significance the HAL 9000 image has with last post that I published, in which I described the problems I had in retrieving my repeat prescription.
For those who know me and now hopefully – those that know me for my written posts – it must be pretty obvious by now, that I am something of an aging ‘Space Cadet’. This being the case, the film 2001has had a lot to do with my lifelong interest in all things Spaceflight related.
After many years of collusion and researching what the future may hold for mankind in and around the year 2000, this joint venture of a film was finally released around Christmas time of the year 1968. They say fortune rewards the brave and this films release could not have been more fortuitous, in that it was finally able to be viewed by the general public at the time Apollo 8 had become the first manned spaceflight ever to leave low Earth orbit and then orbit The Moon. Continue reading . . . “affirmative Dave, I can hear you . . . “→
. . . . . so my doctors General Practice has decided to update the way you make your appointments and order your repeat prescriptions, by subscribing to this new online National Health Service IT system. Great I thought, now I don’t have to sit – Prayer-Mantis style – crouched over the phone waiting for the second-hand on the clock to sweep past 8:30am and then phone the surgery; constantly hitting the re-dial button to get past the engaged tone, every time I want an appointment. Why is it that I feel like a Formula One driver sitting in my car on the starting grid? Twenty others and I, revving the engines and waiting to lift our foot off the brakes immediately the lights turn red . . .
Part One of this article can be found by clickinghere.
Apollo 14 had also had its share of ‘glitches’ on its transit from Earth to The Moon.
A major milestone of the mission was to accelerate the Apollo 14 spacecraft from the 17,500mph orbital velocity to 24,500mph. To achieve this velocity would mean re-igniting the still attached S-IVB third stage engine for 6 minutes. Once the ‘TLI burn’ had successfully occurred, the Apollo Command and Service Module’s would have to detach themselves from the now redundant S-IVB. However at the top end of the now expended third stage was the Lunar Module ‘Antares’, safely encased in the Lunar Module Adapter section. The Command Module Pilot – Stuart Roosa – would now perform a third vital maneuver of the mission; the ‘Transposition and Docking’ maneuver. This required separating the Command and Service Modules from third stage and then revolving the spacecraft so that the front of it was facing the now following S-IVB stage. A command would then be issued to open Lunar Module Adapter panels that encased the Lunar Module. With the panels successfully opened, the Command Module Pilot would apply forward thrust to Command Module and using a docking probe attached to the front of the Command Module, insert this into what was referred to as the drogue at the top of the Lunar Module.
. . . . . thank-you Global Warming – just once in a while, it’s nice to see that even you sometimes need an afternoon off. The old Cathedral is awash with Spring sunshine and it is displaying its best face for all the visitors and pilgrims, who have made the effort to come and see her. As for me, I am sitting in Costa-Cofee, watching the world drift past the windows with an americano . . . . .
It had been a long journey for Alan Shepard, both in time and the sacrifices he had to make in his life to be at the place he was now. The defining moment of all of these things; long hours of training, the frustration of looking from the outside in, had now taken him to this pivotal moment in time and space – literally.
Today – January 31st 2014 – NASA officially remembers those astronauts who lost there lives whilst engaged in the pursuit of human space exploration.
NASA Centers throughout the United States will be marking this occasion and there will be a wreath laying memorial attended by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC.
January is a notable and poignant month in the history of NASA Manned Spaceflight. The exploration of space – like all human exploration that has preceded it – has had its share of triumphs and tragedies.
Invariably, to undertake such challenges as the human exploration of space, requires pushing the envelope not only of science and technology, but also the courage of those who volunteer to man the vehicles that enable them to leave the surface of our planet and enter the realm of space.