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The voyages of the starship Enterprise

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“Space, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise….our mission to boldly go where no man has gone before”. These words are familiar to Trekkies across the globe, but we may have forgotten their true significance. They represent a time in our history when man attempted so large a feat that it has yet to be repeated. In the late sixties charged by President John F. Kennedy, America traveled to the moon, they did not do this because it was easy, they did it because it was hard, to make a point. Probably for the same reason that Sir Edmund Hilary scaled Mt. Everest, because it was there.

We owe much to the space race, it gave us personal computers, NASA had to fit a computer into a little space and IBM rose to the challenge. Kevlar, food preservation techniques, training techniques, they were all refined by the space programme. Most of all, the space race made us a global village, the need for global communications fast tracked  in order to keep watch on space craft. Man’s imagination knew no bounds. We made a few trips to the moon, scientists are still studying the wealth of material that came out of these missions and the world has never been the same. 

I’ve been watching the Discovery Channel series “When we left the Earth”. It is staggering in its scope utilising footage, photographs and interviews with surviving crews and techs from the period. Even more amazing, I remember the “live” broadcasts from the moon, they were carried across the globe via delayed transmission. I was a toddler when man first walked on the moon but I have an early memory of sitting on a 100lb bag of flour in my Granny’s shop asking my uncle why everyone was so quiet. “We’re listening to the man on the moon.” It became my ambition every night to see the man in the moon. Keep in mind it was the early seventies, colour tv was a distant luxury, you had to call the operator if you wanted to make a long distance call, AIR travel was uncommon enough that whole families went to the airport to send of relatives and friends, computers still filled a whole room and needed punch cards. 

When you look now at the risks that were taken and the lives given to the programme it is still pretty riveting. As I have said before, ironic that we’ve had all these technological advances and get we’ve never gone back. Have we become so blase that we have no imagination any more? The men who walked on the moon are all in their mid to late seventies, soon there will be no one who has had the experience of walking on the moon. When you listen to these men speak of their experience you cannot help be awed yet I’m pretty sure if asked, very few can remember their names and yet, thanks to the magic of television and re-runs, we all know Captain Kirk. 

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Written by coffeewallah

June 23, 2008 at 12:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. мне кажется: шикарно!!


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