an overview of NASA's space exploration
7 responses | 0 likes
Started by GunterK - April 25, 2021, 2:25 p.m.

Some 60 years ago, the “space race” started. At that time, the Soviet Union was leading in space exploration…. First satellite in space (Sputnik)… first animal in space (a dog named Laika)… first man in space (Gagarin)… first woman in space (Tereshkova) … plus a few other “firsts”. If I am not mistaken, they even shot an unmanned vehicle to the moon, to observe it crashing on the moon’s surface.

The US was trying hard to catch up. Pres Kennedy decided that it was time for the US to reach the moon.

As first astronauts, NASA selected the most experienced pilots from the military. Some of them were test pilots. Test Pilots are a special breed of pilot… they take new airplanes up into the air, to find out whether they can actually fly, as they are supposed to. The Best of the Best.

They made a movie about the first astronauts (“The Right Stuff”), Carpenter, Cooper, Glenn, Grissom, Schirra, Shepard and Slayton (later boss of NASA)

First came the Mercury Program (a one-mane capsule), then came the Gemini Program (a two-man capsule), and finally the Apollo Program (a three-man capsule), which successfully landed man on the moon six times.

After the end of the Apollo missions, a quick experiment with the so-called Sky Lab was undertaken. But later, the International Space Station was built, a project involving the space agencies of 5 countries. (again the Russians had “space stations” in orbit before them)

The International Space Station was serviced by the “Space Shuttle”, which brought supplies and replacement crews to it. The crews occupying the ISS included civilian scientists, to study life in a weightless environment and other scientific experiments.

For publicity, a teacher was once taken along. Unfortunately, Christa McAuliffe did not make it back home.

After the last Space Shuttle mission, US astronauts had to hitch a ride on Russian spacecraft, to reach the ISS. Actually, “hitch’ is the wrong word… the US had to pay Russia for the ride.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has now ended the country’s dependence on Russia for such missions.

NASA is now planning to return to the moon, for the purpose of further exploring the moon, and study how life in such an environment can be sustained for prolonged periods of time… a stepping stone for a trip to Mars.

However, this time they are not looking for test pilots. After all, we are now living in a woke era. One of the very important goals of the next moon mission is to a have crew that includes “people of color” and females

Well, why not… “people of color” and females have already been on the ISS

It’s just… I don’t know how to say it...IMHO, they should pick the most qualified candidates, no matter what race or gender they are, not make “diversity” a mission requirement.

By WxFollower - April 25, 2021, 3:55 p.m.
Like Reply

 I agree with this. Most qualified should come before quotas based on a desire for diversity. After all, we're dealing with a crucial safety issue when talking about astronauts. I've already said the same for airplane pilots.

 If all of the most qualified are PoC and/or women, fantastic! If none are, that would be unfortunate, but oh well it is what it is.

 Now one may argue that PoC and women don't have the same opportunities as white males thus making the pool of the best astronauts highly favoring white males per capita. If so, then maybe something can be done to out them on an equal playing field. I bet MetMike has some thoughts about this.

 Or perhaps, even with the same opportunities, white males average out more qualified per capita for some reason. I'm not trying to be sexist at all, but I have read that males tend to excel more in science and math than females and that females tend to excel in some other areas more than males. If so, then males would be favored over females to become highly skilled astronauts even with equal opportunities for women.

By metmike - April 25, 2021, 5:02 p.m.
Like Reply

I agree strongly on this.

I am totally for equal rights and equal job opportunities and zero discrimination. As well as equal pay and equal benefits and mostly, equal qualifications and job requirements.

I'll copy my previous comments that Larry alluded to.  There ARE differences in the male and female bodies that we can appreciate but there are also powerful differences in the brains, like it or not.

I've coached 3,500 students playing chess. I've had some brilliant girls playing chess and encourage them as much as the boys.......but the male brain works differently that causes it to be better at chess. 

You can't see the difference, like you can when you are looking at football players and laughing at the idea of women playing football and its not as pronounced but I can tell you...... after 25 years doing this and the fact that there is only 1 women currently rated in the top 100 chess player is the's absolutely not from anything except the men are better at chess.

Not all men or all women but in general and the older they get and the more elite the level the more pronounced it gets.

I'm no expert at what it takes to be an astronaut but would think that there "could be' some areas that men are better than women at and its only hurting the quality of the team, if you are ignoring that to put women or less qualified people on because of their gender or race.

In some realms, it doesn't matter go ahead and do it. In some realms it really does are hurting everyone. 

Sometimes, you hurt the woman or minority by doing it. If you allowed women to compete in elite level chess tournaments that are not qualified, they would get their arsss kicked. 

 Fortunately, there are womens chess tournaments just for them and exactly for that reason.  Again, this is recognizing something that you can't see, which is in their brains which affects their abilities.

Woman are better than men too at some things. I'm guessing they could whoop most men in a typing contest. In a field that many people greatly underestimate the importance of in life, they blow away men with compassion and understanding for others and love and resolving issues with talking.

This is why moms often make the best parents.

Raising children is MUCH more important than playing chess or being an astronaut or playing football. It's the most important job on the planet by an extremely wide margin. 

Society has been judgmental of people that stereotype women this way. What the Heck! This is the highest compliment that I can think of(in my book) that they mop the floor compared to men(in general) in the family setting with their motherly love and motherly instinct that some men were not born with.

Much of it can be learned of course and part of it is how men and women have been raised in previous generations but women carry the babies  for 9 months and breast feed them which is a role no man will ever have. They have a special bond with the children from the get go that no man will ever have.

To think that, suddenly, because society says so, we should ignore that and have more working moms to be equal to men..................even though they are best at raising kids is counter productive.

By metmike - April 25, 2021, 5:06 p.m.
Like Reply

             This was a recent thread with great comment on this.

   no more United Airlines for me            

                            9 responses |     

                Started by GunterK - April 8, 2021, 11:01 p.m.    

By metmike - April 25, 2021, 5:14 p.m.
Like Reply

Sadly but extremely true is that men are far superior fighters.  Not just from a physical standpoint in a fist fight or boxing ring but also in most other realms, including the one with the highest stakes.........WAR!

If our species had managed to reproduce with nothing but women from the get go and men never existed, the number of wars would probably be something like 1%  or even less than that, of what they have been.

Almost every major was, every military leader and people involved with decisions that led up to every war were men.

In military school, they don't train future generals on how to make peace and love their enemies.............they train them to kick their arse on the battlefield.

The exact same objective in the game of chess(which I call "the sport for the brain" and its on my older kid's chess shirts).

Of course men will be good at chess and war. Out strategising your opponent on the battle field is just the game of chess................instead of using pieces, the players actually DIE when you take them off the board.

The saddest part of all, is that the men making these decisions, sometimes too frequently,  like during the Vietnam war.... do these things with no accountability............if they can manufacture the politics to get away with it.

Innocent people on both sides killed because men are instinctively aggressive and have this innate desire to battle and out strategize other men and have gained the power to control millions of people in order to accomplish this in real life. 

The goal, of course is more than winning on the battle field.  There are many other battles in other political realms with lots of women involved, just look at Congress.

But I am just referring to the raw cerebral strategizing in war games, real or for fun.

Men own women(figuratively speaking) in this specific realm. 

By GunterK - April 25, 2021, 5:44 p.m.
Like Reply

great comments... thanks, metmike

By TimNew - April 25, 2021, 7:55 p.m.
Like Reply

You can have equal opportunity or equal outcome. 

I am fully supportive and comimitted to equal opportunity.

That makes me an outlaw in today's society.

How very bery sad.

By metmike - April 26, 2021, 2:23 a.m.
Like Reply


To prove that I'm not a male chauvinist, in 1993, I parted ways with my last real job(chief meteorologist at WEHT-TV in Evansville IN)  and stayed home to be Mr. Mom to raise our 3 children, while my wife worked 50-60 hours a week outside the home. 

Also made a ton of money trading from home and it allowed me to coach my sons, soccer, basketball and baseball teams(also was treasurer/commissioner in some leagues) as well as started chess programs at their schools + a couple of other schools...........5 in all right now.

Chess is always right after school dismisses, so to be a scholastic chess coach, you almost  have to be available right after school.

Many chess coaches are teachers at their school.

Got to be their den leader, then adult leader in their Boy Scouts and involved with Easter Seals, Santa Clothes Club, The Rescue Mission, Operation City Beautiful-Evansville, taught religious ed at our church for 15 years and few other things..........luckiest guy around to have the opportunity to help so many people.