Beyond the Apollo space program
Why is NASA's assigned mission
A. F. Witzsche
'shrinking' the Universe, we are 'expanding' ourselves
we are making the infinite knowable and definable
and thereby discover the infinite in ourselves
In the Spirit
The Universe is ever-expanding. Its Spirit is all-harmonizing. Nothing exits in the Universe without a purpose that 'enriches' the whole. This Spirit should be reflected in mankind.
In mankind the Infinite, (the unknowable) is becoming increasingly knowable as the leading edge of science is extended further and further, by which the Infinite becomes increasingly finite and definable, and tangible (being understood and applied), and the human world becomes enriched thereby, and becomes more powerful in its capability and expandability. This is how we are progressing in the Spirit of the Universe.
It is this Spirit that enables us to stand on the moon, reach for the stars, explore the cosmos, and become familiar with the boundless nature of the Universe -- the as-yet unknown that we aim to make known to us by consciously being a living part of the Universe itself. In this process we find our humanity, and our space program thereby becomes a Love-festival -- a festival of being in love with what we discover of the dimension of our humanity. In this context, stepping into space becomes a journey into inner space.
With the space program we are not reaching out into the universe, primarily. This isn't what the grand step is about. By taking the grand step, by challenging the limits, we are looking deeper into ourselves, to discover more of the dimension of ourselves as human beings. We are touching the Universe as a challenge, by which we become more powerfully human. The process furnishes a result that no lesser process can achieve.
Science alone cannot get us into space. It is merely an essential tool. It takes us to the portal. But more is needed. The final step requires of us the dimension of achievement. It requires this of all mankind. The Universe is not scientific and theoretical. It is physical, creative,, and productive. It unfolds towards a concrete purpose that every aspect contributes to. Stepping up to the challenges of space brings out in us the human spirit. If we move with it, we stand tall. If we stop, we become small.
Standing tall, started the space race
When the Soviet Union launched the world's first human-made satellite (Sputnik 1) into the sky on October 4, 1957 the Soviet nations stood tall as a people. The American Congress perceived this standing tall as threat to U.S. security and a challenge to its technological leadership. In response, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his advisers requested the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to study what role a non-military space agency could play in this unfolding 'crisis.' On January 12, 1958, NACA organized a "Special Committee on Space Technology," which included the "Working Group on Vehicular Program," headed by Wernher von Braun, the German rocket pioneer who had become a naturalized citizen of the United States after World War II. From this background, in April 1958, President Eisenhower requested the U.S. Congress to create a new agency for space activities, the "National Aeronautical and Space Agency."
The U.S. Congress responded promptly with the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (on July 16). A dozen days later, on July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act that established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The new administration absorbed the 46-year-old NACA; its 8,000 employees; and its annual budget of US$100 million; and its three major research laboratories (Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, and Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory) and also two small test facilities. The Apollo Program became NASA's answer to Sputnik, a daring space-flight endeavor to land the first human beings onto the Earth's moon. The project gave a new definition to standing tall.
The Apollo moon landing project was conceived during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, but it only took off in earnest after U.S. President John F. Kennedy (inaugurated Jan 20, 1961) announced his support for a manned moon landing on May 25, 1961, in an address to a joint session of Congress, declaring it to be a national goal to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. It this sense, the Apollo program became Kennedy's space program, who made it a national program, but remained the driving force behind it, a force that would change the world, that would revive its optimism, and would technologically uplift the USA. The manned space program thereby became a force of a higher order that no empire would be able to withstand.
It was likely for this reason that President Kennedy became the number one enemy of empire, an 'evil empire' that was crying for war. Of course, war is hard to wage in a world in which the human being stands tall. All evidence suggests that the President Kenny was murdered, in order that the Vietnam War could be put into motion. It is being said that he was murdered just days after he had ordered the American withdrawal from Vietnam, which was never carried out.
President Johnson started the war that President Kennedy had tried to prevent. Now, years down the road, it becomes apparent that the new president was threatened with the same treatment if he didn't comply and get the war under way. Thus, the war happened. But it didn't succeed. It became a nightmare. In the year that the first moon landing happened, President Nixon had become President, who had immediately escalated the war and started a 14-month secret bombing campaign (behind the back of Congress). It was also the year in which the My Lai Massacre happened. However, what overshadowed all of this horror like a great light for a brighter future was this small step of a man placing his foot on the moon. Over 500 million people across the entire had witnessed the event. It created a contrast to war that overshadowed the killing fields with a great optimism.
The war simply failed thereafter. In 1971, Australia and New Zealand withdrew their troupes and massive peace protests began across the USA. As if to rescue war itself from this 'light' and to give it a chance to succeed, the Apollo moon landing program was finally cancelled in 1972. The last mission ended five days before Christmas, with splashdown on December 19, 1972. It left behind a plaque on the moon, mounted on the descent stage of Challenger, with the words: "Here Man completed his first explorations of the moon. December 1972 AD. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind".
It evidently wasn't money for which the Apollo program was canceled. The hardware for the further missions had already been built. It appears that it was recognized by the masters of empire who were steering the show, that war cannot succeed when the human being stands tall. However, by the time the Apollo program was canceled in 1972, the case for war had already been lost. It ended in a bitter defeat shortly thereafter. Not a single war was ever won thereafter by America in the service of empire. It seemed as if war itself was defeated.
America had earned itself a terrible name in the pursuit of war in the service of empire. However, it may have been the grand achievements that were wrought -- and are still being wrought in its ongoing space program (what is left of it), that continues to inspire the humanity of human beings -- that gave the American nation also a grand and noble face with which it has retained a measure of respect in the world as an honorable people, and had also retained a measure of respect for itself in spite of the hell-fires of its imperial wars, terror, torture, and evermore fascist measures that befouled the name of America.
Apollo - a turning point in history
Few people may agree with me, that with the NASA space program a page became turned in the book of history that cannot be turned back. Every single phase of the war of empire against mankind has failed to achieve its masters' objectives from this point on. The takedown of the Breton Woods financial system of the world, the global warming hype that started in 1974, and the NSSM200 genocidal policy, the deindustrialization policies, terrorism, and the like, and others wars, have all failed so far. They have failed to defeat mankind as a whole, and to bring it under the yoke of empire. While much damage has been done all around the world in the war of empire against mankind, in which all of western Europe has already capitulated, there remains nevertheless a spirit that keeps coming to the surface in mankind that enables mankind to stand its ground, to raise itself up, that will ultimately enable it to stand tall one more. This spirit stands at the door to our future.
The turning point in the modern history of mankind towards an eventual new renaissance may have been launched with the profound achievement between 1969 and 1972, to routinely land on the moon, almost without fail, by which mankind learned the art of standing tall, though not the ultimate mastery of it. While much of its tall spirit has been lost, much still remains. It gave us all a sense of being undefeatable. Science by itself didn't do this. It only enabled us to reach deeper into ourselves. What we found in the process, is the pearl of great price that we have cause to celebrate, and to continue. It is this demonstrated evidence -- that a new renaissance is not only possible, but that the march to it is still in progress for as long as the space program remains alive that gives man a place in the heavens -- that gives a tangible substance to the American currency in a world where the value of currencies is fast diminishing, as the world is rushing into the arms of austerity to oblivion. It should be fairly obvious by now that the value of the U.S. dollar no longer reflects the status of the U.S. economy, which has collapsed, but reflects instead what the U.S. economy has the potential to be, based on the demonstrated spirit of America in the time when it stood tall. In a very real way, the value of the American dollar reflects the value of a demonstrated spirit that has not yet been totally lost. I would even venture to say that whosoever aims to defeat this spirit will likely be defeated by it, even as war has already been essentially defeated.
The spirit of the sky
In today's deepening crisis the focus on merely going back to the moon is no longer sufficient. A greater challenge is before us . The focus must be on going further. The focus must be on the challenge of building a manned moon shuttle, and on building on the moon a science city and an industrial capacity for missions not yet even imagined. Isn't that what Dante, Cusa, and Kepler have all done, each in their own way? Each gave mankind a new and brighter face, a new and taller spirit. And with it, each had put another nail into the coffin of the Dark Age of empire. Each pioneer has taken a bite off the Spirit of the Infinite and has made it finite, and definable, and tangible, and has thereby brought and aspect of the Infinite to Earth, and has created with it an advancing definition of what a human being is, that will never become irrelevant for as long as we keep it alive.
The resulting definition has made us stand taller than any man who is merely moral, or even a man who is moral and scientific. A man who does not kill is moral, but this is not enough to stand on the moon and reach for the stars. Even being scientific is not enough. Science has enabled many great achievements that have advance the general welfare of mankind, but few are so profound that they raised us above the Earth to create an economy with the power to put the moon under our feet and place on our head a crown made of stars.
And it is here -- standing tall with the Spirit of the Universe, standing profoundly human in our self-discovery -- where we define what love is, and develop the power to close the door to all that is sub-human and immoral, down reaching down to the deepest sludge of the sewer of empire, to banish it from our world with a flood of new light.
The Apollo space program stands proudly in the pages of eternal history as a mile stone, and as an example on a road on which we become increasingly human.
have become a city built upon a hill
|the dawn||the sunrise||heat of the day||sunset - gate to the future|
|our loving||our living||our sexing?||our womanizing?|
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - 2010 Rolf A. F. Witzsche