For the first time in the almost two years since I've returned to the Faith, I've been forced to miss Mass: I woke up this morning to several inches of snow dropped and blown across my property overnight, which took the form of what could be called "snow dunes". Worse yet, I was supposed to undergo week two-of-four of my Sacristan training.
In a "let's try it to see what happens" moment, I gunned my car out of the garage, thinking perhaps I could circumnavigate the dunes-- but my grandiose vision melted like snow in the sun's light when I bottomed out and got stuck with the rear of the car only one foot beyond the safe, concrete garage floor threshold. Rocking the car a bit, I was able to reverse and nestle it back into its save haven. It was then and there that I resigned myself to my snowed-in fate.
Men on the Moon
I've spent some time on the "Apollo Missions" in the past, looking up claims made by "both sides", and walking away each time with a sort of "60 / 40 they faked it" outlook. But somehow I'd never run across this series of articles before, which have taken me more to an "80 / 20" attitude that the missions never actually happened.
I think more than the preponderance of points made by the articles' author-- and he is extremely well versed in the topic-- what really pushed me off the fence was the fact that mankind very obviously can not reproduce the feat today.
Repeatedly, NASA and NASA-affiliated people-- including Buzz Aldrin and other former astronauts-- "slip up" and directly or indirectly pour cold water on the idea that the "Apollo Missions" ever occurred. For example, with zippers and aluminum foil they could slingshot a spacecraft to the moon-- and back-- after eight years of work, with 1960s technology where the integrated circuit had just been invented, basic rocketry was a total cluster with high rates of failure, and the pocket calculator hadn't been created yet.
No worries about radiation from the Van Allen belt, micro-meteorites puncturing the centimeter-thick aluminum foil, five hundred degree swings in temperature-- just get some duct tape and baling wire, and you're good to go! But today it would apparently take fifteen-to-fifty years, depending on the source, and probably a trillion dollars to make such a spacecraft. This is according to NASA itself.
The space suits from the 1960s? Created by a company which made bras, in less than two years. But to make a suit which would actually function on the moon today, able to withstand the moon's constant bombardment of 50,000 mph micro-meteoroids, relentless flooding of radiation, which wouldn't get brittle and break, and all the rest? Eight-and-a-half years, minimum, and billions of dollars. That's just for the suits.
NASA, and every single person surrounding it, acts as though men have never gone to the moon. Even modern-day astronauts routinely say they are "excited to some day make the next big step for mankind, and leave low-Earth orbit". Not a single person acts like all of this is already a solved problem, and no one bothers to point this out for fear of being called names. If we'd already done it, we should be able to do it with today's materials construction and trillion-times faster computers with ease. Heck, just pull the old stuff out of the museums and re-use it: it worked with a one hundred percent success and safety record! It even let them "live" broadcast, right-on-the-button at 7:00pm Eastern, like a sporting event.
In the 2010s, NASA tried to crash land a craft into one of the moon's craters to kick up moon ice, and couldn't even pull that off. Presumably the craft missed the moon altogether, because there was no "plume" like they'd indicated there would be.
The author also has unintentionally funny quotes from people who surrounded the program, like the guy who wrote "the software" which would handle landing the lunar module on the moon. I'm paraphrasing, but not by much: "Yeah, I was twenty two and it was my first job. I just kind of wrote this program, just making it up as I went, without any way to test it, and... um, yeah, I guess it 'just worked' once they got to the moon. Amazes me to this day!" This kind of pattern comes up a ton with regards to the "Apollo Missions"-- every single aspect of them, essentially.
Occam's Razor tells me it's because these elements were never intended to be used seriously-- they were more like an illusion, so that "the secret" wouldn't need to be revealed to every Tom, Dick, and Harry: it was a way of having plausible deniability. That way only a small circle of people would be "in on it"-- the rest could happily live under the illusion they'd "done their part". Sort of like "Ender's Game" in reverse.
What I mean by that is, even the people on Earth in the "command center" probably thought it was real as it was happening, and were probably just as amazed: "Wow, it went so perfectly!" It wouldn't be too difficult to pull off the ruse: apparently all of those monitors just had hand-written notes on microfiche cards anyway-- they weren't "hooked up" to anything.