'One giant leap'

Astronaut Neil Armstrong took unique adventurous step for all humanity

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No decade in most of our lifetimes presented the highs and lows that the 1960s did. And no point was higher – literally or figuratively – than Neil Armstrong’s first footstep on the moon.

It’s difficult to explain to kids today how big an accomplishment that was. Through the special-effects of Hollywood, today’s youth are used to seeing intergalactic travel. The moon? Please. It’s right there, and there’re no cool aliens to interact with.

But this is real life, and real life can be awfully fragile. Space travel is as dangerous as it gets. Intrepid pioneers have died sometimes during mere launches, trying to be among the chosen few to have “slipped the surly bonds of Earth.” Between us and the moon are some quarter-million miles of desolate, cold, inhospitable space. President Kennedy’s visionary exhortation “of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth” was accomplished by July 1969 without special effects. The peril was unimaginable.

The feat, therefore, is indescribable.

The humble, soft-spoken Armstrong tried to describe it as simply and eloquently as he could: “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”

The moon landing on July 20, 1969, was perhaps the first event in history to have been shared by all humanity. It was, indeed, a giant leap for mankind. But the conquest was especially sweet for the United States of America, which came late to the Space Race with the Soviet Union but crossed the lunar finish line first.

It was just the morale boost the bruised American psyche – and the free world – needed.

Man’s first step on the moon, besides being a giant leap, is also a reminder of his infinitesimal place in the universe – and how small that giant leap really is. Andromeda, the nearest spiral galaxy to ours, is 2.5 million light years away. Think about that: Even at the speed of light, it would take 2.5 million years to get there. And consider its size: Andromeda has some 1 trillion stars alone. Our own Milky Way even has as many as 400 billion “suns.”

And there are millions of galaxies.

But as the proverb goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Through talent, training, smarts and demeanor, Neil Armstrong just happened to be the man who began that journey for the rest of us.

The humility and perspective he exhibited in his post-Apollo years, up to his death Saturday at 82, seems to cry out that he was the perfect choice to carry our flag on that first leg of a very long expedition.

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TParty
6003
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TParty 08/28/12 - 12:45 am
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This is why science should be

This is why science should be on the forefront of everything in this country. The editorial said it very well "And no point was higher – literally or figuratively – than Neil Armstrong’s first footstep on the moon." And that took scientists and engineers to make this happen. Recently, Curiosity brought a lot of pride to America as well.

What's amazing is that not only did these men walk on the moon, but they returned home to talk about it.

You can read an address that Nixon would have given if the worse case scenario occurred below, it might help give another perspective of how dangerous this was, and just how awesome America is, and provide an example of what we should be reaching for.

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2010/11/in-event-of-moon-disaster.html

Riverman1
86933
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Riverman1 08/28/12 - 08:26 am
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Edge of the Billion Sun Galaxy

There's a poster that some of you may have seen that affects me greatly. It shows earth on the edge of our galaxy of billions of suns and represents just how inconsequential earth is.

Going to the moon was nice, but there is absolutely no way we reach out to other suns and galaxies for the next zillion years. I'm going to find greatness right here on earth with people. Love, truth and beauty. That's all there is, folks. No Startrek for me.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 08:39 am
4
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"Going to the moon was nice,

"Going to the moon was nice, but there is absolutely no way we reach out to other suns and galaxies for the next zillion years."

That is what they thought about going to the moon in 1930.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/28/12 - 08:44 am
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Angie H, I see your point,

Angie H, I see your point, but the moon trip represents how impossible it is to reach other suns and galaxies. Now we know that little trip to our moon orbiting our earth is like a child putting on a Superman cape and thinking he can fly.

Gary Ross
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Gary Ross 08/28/12 - 08:46 am
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I miss the days...

I miss the days of real national pride, which seem to be absent today in our "spend now like there's no tomorrow" mindset. I still recall the B/W image of the first walk and the feeling I had as a 12 year old. Anything is possible! I hope we as a nation could return to those days so that our grandchildren can experience that.

Niel is a legend. And so is my personal hero President Kennedy, who set the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

It's really sad though, that the last event in Neil's life was to witness the downfall of his son's life achievements.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 08:51 am
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How does a moon trip

How does a moon trip represent how impossible something is, if we actually DID it? Some thought it impossible, a few determined one's thought otherwise and proved themselves correct. History is filled with examples of things that were thought to be impossible, just to be proven wrong......usually sooner than we assumed.

Riverman1
86933
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Riverman1 08/28/12 - 09:12 am
0
5
We can go to the moon and

We can go to the moon and Mars, maybe other places in the solar system at a cost of trillions. But to go farther requires a new kind of science. "Beam me up, Scottie," if you will. So stick to pouring trillions into studying science with all its resulting spinoff instead of acting like kids with bottle rockets, going....Oooooooh, ahhhhhh as it explodes in the sky. In a few thousand years come back and talk to me.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 09:15 am
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Exactly ..... it requires a

Exactly ..... it requires a new kind of science....just like it took to break the sound barrier and to go to the moon...a new science that we didn't have.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 09:15 am
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Building computers required a

Building computers required a kind of science that we didn't have....I guess we shouldn't have done that either.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 09:20 am
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The speed of light can NEVER

The speed of light can NEVER be broken....EVER....BY ANYTHING.

Not so fast:
http://tech.ratedsawj.com/cern-speed-of-light-barrier-broken-by-neutrinos/

Riverman1
86933
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Riverman1 08/28/12 - 09:22 am
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5
The point is to stick to

The point is to stick to basic physics research and not fool ourselves shooting up bottle rockets thinking we can reach another solar system or galaxy with them.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 09:27 am
3
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I guess we should just ignore

I guess we should just ignore all the advances we have made....including breaking the light barrier, that was previously thought to be unbreakable. Just stick to what we know.......if only they had done that back in Copernicus' time....we would be far better off on our flat little Earth.

Riverman1
86933
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Riverman1 08/28/12 - 09:35 am
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5
Bottle rockets and Bigfoot

Bottle rockets and Bigfoot are both kind of fun. Basic scientific research, not so much.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 09:39 am
3
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Who said anything about

Who said anything about bottle rockets? You keep bringing that up, as if going to the moon was done with 9th century Chinese fireworks. You said it would take a new kind of science...I posted a link to the very science that it would take. Why the reluctance to advance? Breaking the light barrier was done using basic scientific research? There will be NO advances without those who try to do the "impossible."

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 09:40 am
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0
Riverman1
86933
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Riverman1 08/28/12 - 09:44 am
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2
Yeah, I commented under the

Yeah, I commented under the Bigfoot story. He got saaaaa.... squashed.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 09:45 am
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Good one.

Good one.

Stangafied
3
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Stangafied 08/28/12 - 10:07 am
1
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Actually the technological

Actually the technological ability to send a vehicle to nearby stars existed back in the 60s. Do some research into nuclear pulse propulsion. We have the ability to send a craft to the closest stars and return it withing an average human lifespan. Having the political will to undertake such a journey, thats another question.

TParty
6003
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TParty 08/28/12 - 10:34 am
0
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About the neutrinos going

About the neutrinos going faster than the speed of light- The scientists put all their research out there to see if it can stand up to scrutiny (Isn't science great!) and it turns out there was a timing situation with the satellites/gps they didn't factor in- so although they were recording speeds faster then the speed of light- it turns out their timing was wrong. Speed of light is still the fastest.

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 08/28/12 - 10:40 am
0
1
Somewhere I Read...

...that an iphone has more computing power than was used on the entire moon landing mission Armstrong headlined.

One of the many things I've always admired about Armstrong was his humility. He was the biggest star in the world, but acted like the guy next door. Real class.

So how do we do it under Obama's "leadership?" We outsource it to the Russians and pay exorbitant sums of money to catch a ride.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 10:40 am
0
0
It's still light...but

It's still light...but 186,000 MPS is no longer the limit. What else don't we know about quantum physics.....there are those who would suggest that we not even try to find out.

TParty
6003
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TParty 08/28/12 - 10:49 am
0
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Here is an article that is

Here is an article that is posted afterwards, when things can be verified.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/02/faster-than-light-neutrin...

TParty
6003
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TParty 08/28/12 - 12:46 pm
0
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Wrong again... this was

Wrong again... this was reported like 12 years ago, and was proven wrong...

Gary Ross
3346
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Gary Ross 08/28/12 - 12:59 pm
0
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Unless...

Unless we get the national debt under control, we aren't going anywhere but down.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 01:08 pm
0
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Evidence of Cesium

Evidence of Cesium vapor-light speed being wrong?

TParty
6003
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TParty 08/28/12 - 01:22 pm
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Correct, the speed of light

Correct, the speed of light increasing in Cesium vapor compared to a vacuum is false.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 08/28/12 - 03:07 pm
0
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Let's try this

Let's try this again.

EVIDENCE of Cesium vapor-light speed being wrong?

TParty
6003
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TParty 08/28/12 - 04:31 pm
0
0
Oh- let us go your way.

Oh- let us go your way. Evidence of Cesium vapor-light speed being right? A scientific paper confirming it, and not your word or some ehow.com website? A paper...

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