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Posts Tagged ‘Protectionism’

Many of our globe trotters these days complain of long duration flights across continents, cooped up in a metal tube which cruises at a height of 35,000 feet or so. They might simply shudder at the prospect of hopping across to the Moon, or undertaking inter-galactic travel on some future date.

One cannot be really blamed at feeling overwhelmed at the courage, conviction, perseverance and scientific precision with which Homo sapiens have been doing just that – undertaking perilous journeys into deep space. With each such sojourn, they enrich the knowledge we have about the planetary bodies around us.

Yours truly recently had an opportunity to visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted.

Some of you may like some snippets from the visit.

General

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Control Center

 

 

The place is getting refurbished, so as to be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of the first human being stepping on to lunar soil in 1969.

Special Vehicle Mock-up Facility

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experiments which leave one dumb founded.

Saturn V: A rocket which was never used

 

 

 

 

 

On our way out, we were shown the area where memorial placards have been put and trees planted for each one of the astronauts and their family members who are no longer alive. A touching tribute and a truly humane gesture.

Mars already holds sway over human imagination. The sun is also under a closer scrutiny. Besides USA, Russia and China have already learnt the art of propelling men and women beyond the narrow confines of our planet. India is also planning to put a human being in space by the year 2022, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its independence.

As a lesser mortal, one can merely wish all the space scientists across the world a great innings ahead in all their endeavours in the decades to follow, advancing the cause of scientific research and extending the boundaries of our knowledge about our universe.

One also wishes that our social scientists can match these efforts by building mental rockets which would propel our masses beyond the narrow confines of attitudes relating to caste, colour, creed, sex and nationality, hopefully prompting our politicians to work together to lower national barriers.

(Note: A note of gratitude is in order for the benevolent elderly couple who drove me down to NASA, followed by a drive through Galveston, a city by the side of the Gulf of Mexico. A ferry ride was the surprise part of the package!) 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/living-on-another-planet-a-2112-fantasy

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/time-to-start-dismantling-the-invisible-walls)

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