Saturday, July 21, 2012

History was made 43 years ago

On July 20 1969 the Apollo 11 Lunar Module (lander) successfully landed in the Sea of Tranquility and 6 hours later Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the lunar surface as the first human to ever touch a surface other than Earth.

It was the greatest Engineering Achievement of our time. A flimsy little Lunar Module with its hypergolic engine descent fuel allocation nearing critical gently landed at Tranquility Base. Ironically it began the destruction of the American Space Program but for that one glorious moment the world stood transfixed watching on live television as man's dream of reaching the moon came to fruition.

The Apollo program jumped computer, medical, and aerospace technology a decade minimum and many of the medical technologies abundant today in every hospital are results of breakthroughs at NASA.

It was a glorious day fraught with drama few will ever be privileged to know about and was a testament to everyone at NASA and especially those glorious flyboys that were strapped into the Command Module eager to ride a 7.5 million pound thrust Saturn V Rocket into orbit and then onto the moon. The margin for error was minuscule and the danger was there as it was for all the Astronauts and Cosmonauts before them.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon and the forgotten man Michael Collins kept the fires burning so they had a Command Module to return to.  All in all a miracle of Engineering brought about because Sergei Korolev, the father of the Russian Space Program, launched a little metal spheroid into space in 1957. Korolev designed and developed Sputnik in less than a month and the space race was on.

Sometimes I wonder how we went so far astray from those glorious days but then governments and bureaucrats always need scapegoats and a public program that uses less than 1% of the Federal budget  sounds good. I once thought we would be on Mars in my lifetime but that is now a pipe-dream. Mediocrity is now considered excellence.

This is both a fond memory and yet a sad memory because it was the day we lost our spirit of adventure and achievement yet achieved such a milestone for mankind.  There were ten missions scheduled and equipment was delivered for all ten. Apollo 18-20 were canceled for budgetary reasons which probably involved more bombs for Vietnam.

Ever wonder where the equipment for Apollo 18-20 ended up?


Angel said...

I remember as a child, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV, a mission map from the local newspaper on the floor in front of me. The whole thing was so amazing.

It is so sad that we ended the moon missions, and now we've ended the space shuttle as well. I'm sure we'll make it to Mars eventually, but it's beginning to look like the first manned mission there will be privately funded.

Anonymous said...

This is the most beautiful thing humanity has ever done.

The greatest thing this species has ever done.

Yes, it's tragic how the shifting of some mortal calculus of power shuddered something so great to a stop, but I think there is a sense of inevitability to it. I find our species to be clichéd, predictable and full of platitudes, but sometimes all of these things combine leading to beautiful things. We will have to go to mars and beyond because of the very same reasons and platitudes we left that tiny strip of land on the southern coast of Africa millions of years ago. The reasons why this species has survived for so long and has done so much, because quite frankly if we don't become multi-planetary then we're doomed to extinction sooner or later no matter what human clichés we commit ourselves to. Given the threat and our history, I think it wouldn't be wise to write off this species yet, I'm quite sure there are plenty of surprises awaiting you within your lifetime and they might perhaps include mars.

Ever wonder where the equipment for Apollo 18-20 ended up?


Anonymous said...

Here is a link to some of the more interesting everyday uses of NASA sourced technology.


Black Swan said...


Around that same time the US Government was conducting secret experiments with solders around the beginning of the Vietnam War while we all were looking up at rockets to the moon; guess you didn’t‘ notice while Turkeys look up while it rains. LOL!! Just like the Germans, Americans also experimented with creating Super Solders, with their new found cache of ex-Nazi scientist. The program failed with the men dying of horrible mutations.

My father and mother met in the Air Force, prior to Vietnam, in love at the time. My mother was a military nurse--very beautiful and looked a bit like Famke Janssen, my father a bit like a effeminate James Stewart. My father told me his MOS was in supply and later changed that story to military survival training which alluded to his narrative fallacy that made me wonder later on to the truth about me.

My father is really a brilliant research biologist and chemist, I suspect he was for the Air Force as well. I do know my father later worked for NASA and was part of a research team that cracked the bio-codes how to put a human being in stasis for long space flights. However, until we find a propulsion method that can go faster than light speed we don’t stand a chance to see other stars for quite awhile, or at least in his lifetime.

My father always referred to me as a biological error, because I had a strange fascination for his work and wanting to know what he knew--I really wanted his love, but he only beat the living shit out of me in ways that are too inhuman to go into here. I asked for a chemistry set and microscope at eight years old, and made my own lab coat out of an old bed sheet. He referred to my mussing as irrelevant.

After a car accident that would kill most human beings--I was drug under the axle of a 69 Ford Sedan for 160 feet by a 67 year old Iranian lady with only a learners permit, who hit the gas--not the break (Terrorist? Maybe.), my father, finally being a dad, took me out to the Nevada desert at 13 years old and showed me how the world worked like some bio-mechanical life force. He said all living things are connected, each with its own unique part of the puzzle. He still refers to me as a biological error--it still bothers me. I’m much more than that. Know anything about Bohm’s Quantum Mind Hypothesis?

Why did I survive that car accident with minimal scarring?

If a flower has both male and female parts is considered a perfect flower? Why can’t you see this as a gift Elizabeth? I suggest you read “The Gifts of Imperfection; Let Go of Who You Think You‘re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

The truth about me is stranger than fiction.


Elizabeth said...


First I need to ask if you want the other comment posted? I kid with you and take my shots at you but that comment outs you and I am reticent to do that. Email me or just add a comment and tell me either way.

Ironically I have never seen the live launch of any space mission so I never looked up at much of anything but the sky. I did watch friends die but that is another story.

I know nothing about any experiments on US soldiers and definitive proof is sketchy at best but know the DOD like I do I have to admit I find it hard to believe they would not try. There is a general lack of morals in both the desk jockeys in the DOD and throughout the Military Industrial Complex that controls military spending. I was once ordered to put hardware and software on a Nimitz Class Carrier that they knew did not work because I was brought in to fix it. I did not do it.

Being born transsexual is not a gift but if you need to look at it that way to make it through life be my guest. If I followed the bullshit espoused in "Let Go of Who You Think You‘re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” then I would never have made it since I guess I would have embraced being a boy because I knew I was supposed to be a girl.

I was told my entire life You cannot be that and you cannot do that. If you embrace who you are then you cannot be what you want to be because you place limits on yourself.

Nothing about you is stranger than fiction.

Anonymous said...

Most of the human race is no longer looking up.
The Tee-Gees are looking between their and other people's legs and saying it doesn't matter when it really matters most to them.


Miz Know-It-All said...

Gift? Really? You want to call this a gift? OK, sure! I guess in a very round about way this could be taken that way if you want... After all, all crushing adversity, if you've managed to survive it, and at the same time remain sane, can and often does produce humans confident in themselves and strong beyond anything possible otherwise. So yes, in a way this was a gift! Just as that huge second and third degree burn I got in college was also a gift... as was that it happened while I was starving and also dealing a failed transition . Same I guess with finding a "friend" in bed with my fiancée the day that I came home early cause my car's engine locked up and I was dismissed from my job. That too was a gift! Why I guess even my gang rape at 14 comes under that heading too!

Yep, they were certainly all quite wonderful and amazing gifts!

As for the reason I, and I would suspect the reason Liz howls about the TG has NOTHING to do with their lifestyle choices! NOTHING! If some aging fuck twit wants to put on an ill fitting frock and dance round his house... or out on the street! That is his Karma not mine... If he wants to destroy his life for his obsession. Again, his karma not mine. If he wants to get his nuts cut off and become a eunuch... Same thing. His Karma! And I will steadfastly defend his right to do this to my dying breath (even if his doing it does skeeze me out big time)

But! When he proves himself to be small man by hiding behind my skirts rather than to face the misogyny of his man's world..." When then it does become my business! When he is out there in the public eye convincing the world that he and I are the same.. It becomes my business. When he makes it so that any man who knows my history has to deal with being "Gay" because he has convinced the world that I will always be a man. then it becomes my business! When he invades women's spaces, again using me as the front for his fantasy, it becomes my business.

So yes I howl about the injustice done me by the TG and then I turn off the computer and go about a rather normal life, thankful for all the gifts that really were! Can you say the same?

Anonymous said...

What happened to all that hardware can be found here:


Stephanie said...

Elizabeth, I give you all the credit in the world for writing a post that has nothing to do with being TS or TG or any kind of gender or sex related content. Ahhh, but then the company you keep just couldn't resist inserting it into the discussion. What a bunch of nitwits. I think they should all be put in a spaceship and sent blasting into space, a good use of the NASA equipment left behind.


Elizabeth said...


I really do not believe anyone really cares what you think but whether you believe it or not I spend very little of my time on this stupidity and actually find myself wanting to spend even less. I bet you would like that!!

Stephanie said...

Not at all Elizabeth. I think you have tons of stuff that would interest my reading curiosity. I'm just not interested in reading how the 'Tg Borg' are trying to take over the world. That subject has been written about in detail and everyone knows your position on that. My interest in you stems from you being a few years older than me, you going through an experience that if my family would have had the help that Benjamin gave you, I feel that my life would have been a much better life. My stars just didn't line up for me and I dealt with it as best as I could, even if it was all wrong.

I started following your blog when you wrote about your life experiences of growing up. I'd like to hear more about that.


Van buren said...

Of corse it's always about the family with you non-op, late, untransitioned folks isn't it?

Their Lack of help and support is the reason you were capable of living/embracing a male life isn't it?

The fact that they didn't help you when you gave them no reason to, THAT is why you were capable of having sex as men with women, of fathering children?

Their lack of help and support is why it is obvious through the actions displayed throughout your lives that NONE of actually think instinctively like a female.

Give us all a break! There's always some "excuse" why you didn't or couldn't or can't