Monday, December 22, 2014

Moon Musings


A stunning anniversary just passed, and it's been on my mind all weekend.

On December 19, 1972, upon the splashdown return of Apollo 17, there were 12 men on planet Earth who knew what it was like to walk on the surface of our Moon. This fact remained true for true for 18 years and 7 months.

Then, in August 1991, James Irwin (Apollo 15) died of a heart attack at age 61.

In 1998, Alan Shepard (Apollo 14) died of leukemia at age 74.

In 1999, Pete Conrad (Apollo 12) was killed in a motorcycle crash at age 69.

In 2012, Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11) died of heart failure at age 82.

Today, there are 8 men left who remember traveling to and working on the moon.

  • Buzz Aldrin turns 85 years old in January.
  • Ed Mitchell and John Young are also both 84. 
  • Alan Bean and David Scott are both 82. 
  • Gene Cernan is 80.
  • Jack Schmitt and Charles Duke are both 79.
In less than one year, every single man who walked on the Moon will be an octogenarian.

Even if the youngest of them make it in to their 90s or to 100, will they see another Moon mission? Or perhaps, as has been hot news this year, BEYOND the moon? Will they watch astronauts who are American or Chinese? Male or female? Who will be President in that era? Will it be just as inspiring to the world?

Some think we could pull off a Moon mission or beyond by 2020, though with how administrations roll, it will be more like 2025.
  • At that point, Buzz Aldrin would be 95. 
  • Ed Mitchell and John Young would both be 94. 
  • Alan Bean and David Scott would both be 93. 
  • Gene Cernan would be 91. 
  • Jack Schmitt would be 90. 
  • Charles Duke would be 89. 
I wonder, will they make it? Statistically, we can expect to lose a few more of their tiny club before we see a return to the lunar surface, given that even the best ideas are still in the planning stages. Anything could suffer cancellation again, in favor of Mars, Asteroids, or on the altar of war, depression or unforseen disaster.

So, when we go back, if we go back, will anyone alive personally remember what it was like to go the Moon?

Something to ponder.

Monday, December 1, 2014

FREE 2015 "Year In Space" Calendar


Readers and Tweeters! Some lucky SpaceTwit is going to win a stunningly gorgeous 2015 Year In Space Calender, hot off Starry Messenger Press, published in cooperation with The Planetary Society.

And when I say SpaceTwit, I mean that in the nicest possible way. Because all you have to do to enter the contest is tweet about the new calendar to spread the word.

Designer Steve Cariddi created this large-format 2015 Year In Space Calendar to appeal to space enthusiasts of all ages, and the introduction was written by everyone's favorite Science Guy, Bill Nye!

This beautiful creation has his stamp of approval, and it's not difficult to see why. I got my hot little hands on it, and have been absorbed for hours. The photography is stunning, and every square centimeter is packed with colorful collages, planets, astronauts, space crafts, and profiles of famous scientists. The calendar grids feature moon phases, sky-gazing guides, space exploration milestones throughout history and fun space facts.


Circulate any of the tweets below, or create your own tweet with the calendar link, and CC: back to my account so I know to enter your Twit-handle in the drawing.

Win a FREE Year In Space 2015 calendar w/fabulous space photographs! Intro by Bill Nye @TheScienceGuy cc @pillownaut

Win a FREE Year In Space 2015 Calendar Created by @YearInSpace & @exploreplanets the Planetary Society cc @pillownaut

EVERYONE who tweets will also get a re-tweet from me from somewhere in their recent stream, and an inclusion in my next #FF round for your Klouting pleasure! Next Monday morning (December 8, 2014), we will choose a winner at random and notify everyone.
Click to see Calendar Pages!

And Get This: you get a special discount for being a Pillow Astronaut Reader and Tweeter! Of course, only one person can win the free prize, so when the rest of you purchase multiples for your kids for Christmas, and I know you will, check out the discount grid, alongside FREE U.S. shipping and lowered international shipping.

Check in the box for the Internet Discount, which ranges from 22% to 39%, depending on quantity ordered; then in the comment section, let them know Pillownaut sent you!

If you do not have a Twitter account, feel free to share this article to Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or Tumblr!  Then, leave me a comment here on this blog post to let me know! Anyone who shares is entered. :)