Because my opinions are better than yours

Posts tagged space

Letters of Note, an incredible site that describes itself as “a blog-based archive of fascinating correspondence,” recently chronicled a speech prepared for President Nixon, which was to be read to the American public in the event that NASA’s Apollo 11 mission ended in tragedy and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were to be unable to return home.

Here is a little more background behind this fascinating document:

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.

Discovered nearly 30 years after Apollo 11′s successful mission, the original document can now be found in the National Archives.  As such, a perfect scan of the document allows it to be presented below in, essentially, its original form:

(click the picture for a closer look)

Here is a transcript of the speech if you struggle reading that typewriter font or something like that:

To: H. R. Haldeman
From: Bill Safire

July 18, 1969.



Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.


The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.


A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to “the deepest of the deep,” concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.

Pretty amazing stuff isn’t it?!  I thought so.  However, what I don’t think is that Blogbdon should do much more of these “educational” type posts because they’re just bad for you…so, to reinforce this stance, here’s the new trailer for the upcoming James Franco/Danny McBride (Kenny Fucking Powers)/Nathalie Portman movie called “Your Highness:”


[via (the fantastic) Letters of Note]

This video is simply amazing…or at least I think so:

Timelapse video of the Perseid Meteor Shower and the galactic core of the Milky Way as seen from Joshua Tree National Park.  These were taken between August 12 and August 15, 2010.

I like stars, and since this is my blog, you must watch stars…specifically a video of the Perseid Meteor Shower:

[via Joshua Tree Under the Milky Way on Vimeo]

This internet thing is really something…

Not only is NASA,the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, going to attempt to put another lander on Mars, but this time their doing it live on the Internet for all to see.

According to Michael Learmonth of Silicon Valley Insider, starting at 6 PM EST today [this was posted on May 25th], people can head to NASA’s website, or Second Life, to watch as NASA attempts to put the Phoenix Mars Lander down on solid ground. I only say “attempts” as missions to Mars have had a checkered past over the years, but the twin rovers of Spirit and Opportunity have certainly proven it can be done. If successful, the first message from Phoenix will be received at 8 PM EST to let mission control know that the lander has in fact touched down and the status of its components.

Rad. Aliens.

UPDATE [5/26]: The Phoenix successfully landed on Mars, but, sadly, it seems as though no aliens have been discovered……yet.  Let me know if you are able to spot any aliens in these pictures taken from the mission thus far.  You can follow the rest of its mission at this site or on Twitter.

The “Night Lights” map was the first world map of the nighttime Earth, using data compiled by NASA and NOAA:


(click on the picture for a much better look at it)

More pictures of cities from space

UPDATE: Just realized I’ve written about this before.  Sorry, it’s finals time.

UPDATE 2: Why not: another picture from space, this time depicting New York City and the eastern seaboard.

NYC from space

More on New York City and East Coast lights.

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