Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Magnificient Desolation

Just finsihed hearing "Magnificeint Desolation" by Buzz Aldrin the second man on the moon. The first three chapters are superb describing the journey to the moon. Some fascinating nuggets from the audio book
> The Lunar Module(LM) in 1969 had less computing power than a modern day cellphone
> The LM landed on the moon with 20 secs worth of fuel spare
> The LM was so cramped and bare ( to reduce weight) that the fuse boxes/ cables were not encased-- with the result while getting in/ out of the LM, Armstrong/ Aldrin with their bulky space suits knocked a fuse out of the fuse box ( the very fuse that was to fire their module back into orbit. Gingerly it was plugged back in place with Aldrin's pen.
> The astronauts almost got locked out of their LM on the moon surface if Aldrin had not had the presence of mind to keep the door ajar which would not have opened from the outside due to the air pressure inside and no pressure outside ( the door opened inwards)

I recommend atleast hear/read the first few chapters -- after that it is astonishing to know that Aldrin went into depression as no goal on planet earth was good enough to spark an interest in him and he became an alcoholic, broke up his marriage, got arrested and went through some rough years even tried selling cars at one point in his life-- Cant help feeling sorry for him as one cant help recalling the probverb-- "what goes up must come down"-- for Aldrin it is almost "pun implied".
Having won his battle on alcoholism and depression he is currently engaged in efforts to initiate space tourism and exploration of the planet Mars.

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