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Moon Australia NASA Space Science

Neil Armstrong Gives Rare Interview 248

Posted by timothy
from the describe-the-tang-mines-you-discovered dept.
pcritter writes "In a rare coup for accountants' association CPA Australia, CEO Alex Malley interviews Neil Armstrong, whose dad worked as an Auditor, bringing him back four decades to the pinnacle of the space race. Neil reveals, 'I thought we had a 90 per cent chance of getting back safely to Earth on that flight but only a 50-50 chance of making a landing on that first attempt.' The four-part video series is now posted on CPA Australia's website."
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Neil Armstrong Gives Rare Interview

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  • by CAKAS (2646219) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:57PM (#40106429)
    I still don't understand this. We have the technology to do it, we have the people wanting to do it, and we have another group of people wanting to live and work there. Why don't we build a base on moon?

    There would be no insects (I really hate those, but at least geckos take a good care of them!), and it would be a good base for our future discovery of new planets and solar systems. There ARE more there, earth is nothing special.

    Is the United States incapable to do this? Does it take Russians [slashdot.org], Chinese [slashdot.org] or Japanese [slashdot.org] to get there? What the hell happened to America?
  • A certain group considers it a waste of money for the government. Ignoring the fact the NASA at it's peak allows billion in revenue to go back to the government. But some people don't want to understand anything about long term payoff, spin-off, and the fact that they create cutting edge industries.

    This is what happens when non scientific and ignorant people get equal say how the government works.

    And yes, I DO believe people without a fundamental understanding of science shouldn't be allowed to participate in the government.
    Same with people who can't do intermediate algebra.

  • Might need insects (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:08PM (#40106479) Homepage

    Assuming the colony will produce it's own food, it may need insects to aid in decomposition of the compost.

  • by GumphMaster (772693) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:27PM (#40106567)

    Indeed. If Osama bin Laden hid on the Moon you would be there by now... for about the same money and with fewer people killed in the process.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:41PM (#40106617)

    It's a pity Neil Armstrong did not explain about the remark he made to Mr.Gorsky.

    Facepalm.

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is part of why he never bothers giving interviews any more. Between the "Moon Landings were fake" trolls and these trolls you just lose faith in humanity.

  • by demachina (71715) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:49PM (#40106649)

    We've spent well over $100 billion on a foray somewhat out of the bottom of a gravity well. So far it has produced almost nothing, its called ISS.

    Chances are a base on the moon would be only slightly more productive than ISS.

    The moon might be worthwhile for mining water or Helium isotopes though this has not yet been well established. The far side might be a good place for some observatories. It might be a place to train for a base on Mars. Then the use cases starts trailing off pretty quickly

    Its pretty simple, you need to build a strong, well thought out, case that there is something on the Moon worth doing that would actually justify the significant expense of returning and building a base. This is the step that was completely missed in the Apollo program which is why everyone stopped caring around Apollo 12 and the program ended at Apollo 17. An emotional case about the coolness factor, and pointless space races with other countries, doesn't really cut it.

    The spinoffs from Apollo did end up making it worthwhile but its not really clear you would get anything close to the same spinoffs going back. Apollo had to actually invent a lot of things to pull it off. If you go back to the moon you would mostly be revisiting technologies that have already been developed so the spinoffs would almost certainly be much less.

    Mars would be a much harder destination but it would be substantially more worthwhile since it is an almost colonizable planet. A case can be made for the that though it wouldn't be easy. It might also produce some new spinoffs since it would be a much harder journey and much more challenging to do.

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:55PM (#40106679)

    The spinoffs from Apollo did end up making it worthwhile but its not really clear you would get anything close to the same spinoffs going back. Apollo had to actually invent a lot of things to pull it off. If you go back to the moon you would mostly be revisiting technologies that have already been developed so the spinoffs would almost certainly be much less.

    Yeah, but you wouldn't just be "going back". Building a long-term habitat on the moon is likely to bring about just as many - if not more - useful spinoffs. In fact, since the challenges that need to be met are largely centred around making a limited-resource environment friendly and liveable, I'd think their application would be even more direct, since we're all into the whole sustainable living/climate change/peak oil thing these days.

  • by demachina (71715) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:10AM (#40106715)

    " All countries should be working together on this."

    Excepting that multinational consortiums tend to turn in to bureaucratic quagmires. Haggling over who does what, who pays for what, whose astornauts get what rides. Some countries fall short on their commitments, others have to pick up the slack, schedules slip, budget soars. Just look at the history of the ISS.

    If you want to do things fast, cheap and well a Kelly Johnson Skunkworks model is probably a much better choice than a bureaucratic quagmire. Find very talented engineers and program managers, give them a very precise goal and sufficient funds to do it, and keep the politicians as far away from it as possible.

    Ones of NASA's now fatal flaws is politicians change the goal and the plan about every four years right before anything is actually done. They also dictate where and how things are done, not for engineering reasons but to insure they get pork in their states and districts. For example, every recent NASA proposed launcher has Shuttle SRB's in it just to insure Orrin Hatch wont try to kill it. That's why Ares I turned in to the monstrosity it was, and why Allient and Astrium have resuscitated the design that will not die as their proposed Liberty [wikipedia.org] launcher.

  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:34AM (#40106785)
    More likely, that 10% survivor rate will be someplace out in the 3rd World. Kill off the skillage needed to sustain a high tech civilisation, that civilisation will fall. For instance, kill off anybody who knows how an oil refinery works and how to make it produce gas & diesel. When the current stockpiles dry up, there'll be no more. Modern agriculture depends on that (relatively) cheap energy. No way we'll be able to feed 7 billion people on Bronze Age farming gear. The people doing Bronze Age style farming right now will still eat. Mostly. Unless they need to refrigerate some of their food. Then they're fucked.
  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:44AM (#40106811)

    For example, the US spends a lot more on space activities than the member states of the European Space Agency, especially including DoD spending. Yet Europe is generally considered to be the more advanced culture scientifically and doesn't have quite the problem with the "non scientific, ignorant people" that are vexing you. So we have right here a data point indicating that maybe space exploration isn't all that beneficial in your own terms.

    They didn't democratize education in Europe with any of that 'no child left behind' and 'let's teach them to embrace their diversity and acknowledge their uniqueness' bullshit. In Europe, they actually (gasp) try to make the kids read, write, do basic math up to elementary mathmatical analysis, speak at least 2 languages, learn their own and world histories, and more. Google up the stats on how the schools of the various countries are rated. Do it. I dare ya.

  • by CoolGopher (142933) on Friday May 25, 2012 @01:02AM (#40106863)

    Watching and listening to the lunar landing sends shivers down my spine. For all our cool tech these days, nothing compares to that moment, and I can't help but wonder if our generation will have such a defining moment. Right now the world seems too obsessed with "safe" and "profit", and appears to have lost the vision and drive to push our boundaries.

    I wish we would have some leaders who would follow in the footsteps of "we do these things not because they're easy, but because they're hard."

  • Or maybe because even most scientists (actual scientists, not armchair commentators on slashdot) can't find an actual utilitarian reason to build a moon base other than juvenile delight at living out their sci-fi fantasies?

    Well, how about experiments conducted in a low-gravity environment?

    How about telescopes and other such sensors that are capable of things we'd never be able to do on the Earth?

    How about because fuck it, it's there, which is one of the most important driving factors in humanity?

    Why did we climb Everest? Because it's the tallest mountain. Why does man try to skydive from ever-increased heights? Because we've never skydived from that high before. Why does the Heart Attack Grill make a Quadruple Bypass burger? Because honestly, a good cheeseburger has more calories in it than a month of your salary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:18AM (#40107447)

    Because people are nincompoops. Which takes us back to the original point.

    There is something warm and fuzzy about a free market economy, where everything "just works" because everyone is making decisions that are optimal for themselves. Back in cold, hard reality, that is a load of shit, because people are nincompoops who make retarded decisions, which collectively results in a massive clusterfuck.

    Perhaps a moon base specifically is not a great objective (I don't know, I'm not an expert, I want the experts to decide). But I sure as fuck do know that NASA, engineering and hard sciences research, fusion research etc should get a lot more money than they currently do. I don't care what any nincompoop says, stop invading other countries, stop spending money on retarded shit that nincompoops want, and invest more in these things that benefited mankind and made USA the most respected and envied country in the world.

  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:16AM (#40108039)

    Also fine, don't force me to spend my money on failed military adventures into the Mountains of Afghanistan. The Russians weren't inept or weak, and after nine years trying, they just recently proved that there's nothing to gain from a military occupation there, do we really need to repeat their mistake, but more expensively?

    If you really want to impress the world with your military might, a precision guided asteroid strike on a nuclear weapons production bunker would probably do the trick. Think long and hard enough and you might even come up with a "peaceful, scientific" pretext for the practice/demonstration (smaller) asteroid diversions.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Friday May 25, 2012 @08:29AM (#40108483) Journal

    There is something warm and fuzzy about a free market economy, where everything "just works" because everyone is making decisions that are optimal for themselves. Back in cold, hard reality, that is a load of shit, because people are nincompoops who make retarded decisions, which collectively results in a massive clusterfuck.

    Actually, this is exactly why a free market works. See, the smart, hard working, and let's face it, lucky people tend to win. They are successful and they multiply. Google creates a search engine. It is successful, more search engines emerge. Some may be better. The better ones will survive. The crappy ones will fail. The "nincompoops" almost always fail. Others see their mistakes and make it a point to not repeat them. The nincompoops usually end up working for the successful ones, benefiting both. It's natural, really. See Darwinism. The strong survive and the weak must multiply fast enough to feed the strong. They are dependent on each other.

    The problem is when an external entity, like government, steps in to and starts meddling with things. A politician will point at a successful person and say to the nincompoops, "What has he done to deserve the things he has?" Of course, the answer is, work hard, be smart, take chances and eventually you'll get lucky. The nincompoops hear, "luck" and think it's not fair. This is when the politician, in exchange for votes, vows to punish those that have more and reward those with less.

    How do you fix this problem? Education. Why is that not working? The nincompoops have taken over education. For example, I pay to send my child to private school. In pre-K, she learned to read, add, subtract and other things that public school kids don't learn until the 1st grade. She learned this in PRE-K! Next year, in kindergarten, she'll be doing stuff on that public school kids do in the second and third grades. Now I bust my ass to pay for that school, but at the same time, I'm also paying to send my kid to public school, even though she doesn't attend (not that pre-K is even offered). Now in a free-market world, I would get whatever money the school would spend to educate my kid to spend it on the school of my choice. Nothing would be lost from the school as they are NOT TEACHING MY KID. An added benefit would be that those that can't afford to send their kids to the same school my child is going to would be able to do so and give their kids the same opportunity my child is getting. It's better for the kids and takes nothing away from the public schools. Why is this not allowed? Because the nincompoops don't like the competition. They feel that they deserve to get paid for doing lower quality work. The nincompoops are running education and have convinced the voting nincompoops that allowing them to choose where they send their own kids would ruin the eduction their kids receive.

    Perhaps a moon base specifically is not a great objective (I don't know, I'm not an expert, I want the experts to decide). But I sure as fuck do know that NASA, engineering and hard sciences research, fusion research etc should get a lot more money than they currently do.

    Agreed.

    invest more in these things that benefited mankind and made USA the most respected and envied country in the world.

    Yeah... that would be the free market. The thing that allowed us to go to the moon and fund a space program was a strong economy. We have had the strongest economy because we have a free market. Yes, natural monopolies should be regulated and unnatural monopolies should be broken up. Yes, environmental regulations are needed to ensure responsibility. But for the most part, the market should remain free. People should be allowed to keep what they earn. People should be free. People should be allowed to fail.

    You can't succeed when there is no chance of failure. You can not be free until you are responsible for you own actions. /rant off.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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