magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)
I'm snowed in under a ton of stuff that needs to get done, but I have a six-hour Amtrak ride tomorrow and the train has wifi, so hopefully I'll be able to get off most (if not all) ( least some) of the correspondence and commenting I have due. I'm at the point tonight where it's moderately miraculous that I'm still upright.

Which probably isn't the best time to be nesting in things that make me choke up under non-completely-exhausted circumstances, but I never claimed to be wise.

In any case, here are things that would make me cry if I had more human emotions:


We Stopped Dreaming

In Event of Moon Disaster
On July 18 of 1969, as the world waited anxiously for Apollo 11 to land safely on the surface of the Moon, speechwriter William Safire imagined the worst case scenario as he expertly wrote the following sombre memo to President Nixon's Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman. Its contents: a contingency plan, in the form of a speech to be read out by Nixon should astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become stranded on the Moon, never to return, followed by some brief instructions relating to its broadcast. Luckily for all those involved, the memo was never needed.

Transcript follows.

The Space Shuttle is, without question, the most complex machine ever created. You look at her and see an airplane. Look deeper.

Look at her bones; her wing spars, her bulkheads and decks. Look at her delicate hydraulic blood vessels, her electrical nervous system, her computer brains and inner ear, her exquisite balancing organs. Look at the warm cocoon behind her nose, a little piece of Planet Earth set in a fortress against the vacuum and bitter cold of space. Think of her communications suite, her inertial guidance systems, her orbital maneuvering thrusters, her elevons and landing gear and rudder. Picture the slightest pressure on a man or woman's wrist sending her rolling or pitching to a fraction of a degree. Think of her eyes, her windows - windows that can hold back 2000 degree-hot plasma. Think of her revolutionary, reusable rocket motors. Think of her thermal tiles, so efficient at dissipating heat that you can hold a white-hot tile in the palm of your hand. Think of the thousands of them that make up her skin, each unique - every one.

Identity URL: 
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)

January 2017

29 3031    

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 10:30 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios