I studied what Gene Kranz and Chris Kraft had to say about the Apollo missions. What I saw absolutely amazed me. Apollo 11 had a computer
overload shortly before landing on the moon, it was not a critical failure and the Eagle still landed. Less than two weeks prior, the exact same error had been simulated, and mission control responded with
an abort. Had that not occurred, The Eagle would not have landed! Apollo 12 was struck by lightning during ascent interfering with the electrical system; it was saved by
a mission control call to switch to an almost completely forgotten backup system. The
only flight controller who knew about this system was reminded of it when some pad crew member in an earlier pad simulation
had accidently elbowed a power supply switch. Apollo 12 would have lit its escape
rockets or wound up stranded on orbit without guidance and propulsion! Apollo
13, it is well known, had an oxygen tank explode, causing a leak in the other oxygen tank.
The crew took refuge in the lunar module Aquarius and used its supplies to make it back home. If that tank had exploded during launch, resulting flight stresses would likely had destroyed the launch
vehicle in an Apollo version of Challenger. If it had blown before they
had left for the moonwhile still on parking orbit, they would not have been able to use the service module engine for deorbit. They were not yet docked to Aquarius, and so had no lifeboat. If it had exploded while the astronauts were on the moon, hapless Jack Swigert would have run out of oxygen
in about 3 hours. Aquarius would not be able to return to earth because
it doesnt have enough rocket power and cannot reenter earth's atmosphere without burning up.
If the tank had exploded before Aquarius undocked while they were on orbit around the moon, Aquarius
would have barely enough propellant to get Apollo 13 out of lunar orbit, and then would not have made it because of water
or battery power shortages (the same speed as the PC+2 abort that they executed would not have been achieved.) If it exploded as the astronauts were returning, they wouldnt have had Aquarius available to serve
as lifeboat. The point is this: If Apollo 13's failure happened anywhere else
during its flight, the crew would have died. Apollo 14 had a contaminated abort
switch in its lander that caused the abort switch circuit to short during descent. It
shorted very early in the descent process, so it was possible for mission control to work around the problem with only a two
hour delay in the landing. Had that contaminated switch circuit shorted just
before landing, the lander would have aborted its own landing without warning, endangering the crew. While I'm not discounting the effort that mission control and the astronauts put into making these four
missions turn out as well as they did, it would be extremely difficult to convince me that God was not involved.
A Brief Technical
The space shuttle is our first attempt at producing a reusable launch vehicle. We did it all wrong. When Nixons OMB axed the Shuttles budget
too low to make it fully reusable, we decided to expend the lower stage, rather than the upper stage. This is one of the most unwise decisions I have ever seen, down there with smoking and suicide. The Shuttle weighs about 4,200,000 lb on the pad, of that, 600,000 lb is hardware, 300,000 lb achieves
orbital energy, 200,000 lb is reusable orbiter, and 50,000 lb is payload. 350,000
lb of hardware is essentially expended with every launch! It would have been
technically easier to make the lower stage reusable, and the result would have launched probably four or five times as much
payload to orbit from the same facilities because the entire 200,000lb orbiter does not need to be painstakingly lifted to
orbit. As a result of this catastrophic decision combined with NASAs other problems
(to be described later), "Even when adjusted for inflation, the cost of space launch in the United States today (1999) is
actually higher than it was in 1972." (Entering Space by Robert Zubrin, 1998 Penquin/Putnam, pp. 26,
emphasis in original.) Examining cost data from confirms this.
A Brief Spiritual
Is this perhaps why?:
For it is written (in Isaiah 29:14), I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding
of the prudent. Where is the wise?
Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
- 1 Corinthians 1:19-20 (Emphasis as in original, meaning words not directly translated from the original Greek.)
I read this after studying
those four Apollo missions. My big question was, Why would God do such a thing
to America's space program after four consecutive miracles? But alas, as I have
found in books on STS-33, the tragic Challenger explosion, it is not God's fault.
during the Apollo Era, James Webb, realized that an organization the size of NASA is not divorced from the society in which
it lives and cannot turn its back on it. Sooner or later, the society's problems
will become the organization's problems ... he is well aware that American society is not what it was ten years before when
NASA was founded. (No Downlink, pp. 91) Our first orbital astronaut is described as a practicing Christian (who) never
neglected to emphasize that, without God, we human beings were nothing. (No Downlink, pp. 75.) I, unfortunately, have the advantage over John Glenn of historical evidence that plainly spells this out
for Americas space program.
What did we, as a western
society, do wrong? I'm counting myself in this as a Canadian: we had our Trudeaumania,
along with its relaxation against behaviors the Bible describes as sinful; we also have our lack of wisdom showing
in our tax structure and many other areas. It must have been so hard for the
NASA people of the early 1970's to watch (many used to work for A.V. Roe Canada, and went to NASA after the cancellation of
the CF-105 Arrow in 1959.) North American society basically started falling apart
in the latter 1960's. We are now faced with situations like pornography dominating
entire sections of channel listings, many being relayed by geostationary satellites.
We have a 50% divorce rate, even among Christians. We have businesses
who cook their books and offer substandard product pushed by slick marketing, along with a public who is willing to accept
it. Already we have annual gay pride parades.
Coming up in Canada is the decriminalization of marijuana possession. There
is abortion: the murder of innocent children who have not yet had the chance to see the light of day. ("For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for
joy." Luke 1:44.) The babe in this case was not Jesus, but John the Baptist,
so there is little exceptionally different about this child from any other. We
have a surplus of parents wishing to adopt in Canada; it's not like these children wouldn't find a good home. Also consider, would it be justified if some advanced alien race were to arrive and abort mankind because
we haven't left the womb of our earth?