Monday, January 16, 2017

Tonight we menace the Moon...

This is a Magnavox Odyssey, released
in 1972 and basically what Cernan and
his crew used to navigate to the Moon.  
Bad news space fans, Eugene Cernan has died. Huh? Whatta ya mean who? Eugene Cernan, we talked about him a few years ago on his birthday, remember? No? You know, sometimes I don't know why I even bother...anyway, Cernan, was an astronaut probably most famous for being the commander of the Apollo 17 mission. Being an astronaut has always been something of a risky occupation, but when he did it it was borderline suicidal. This was in the late sixties and early 70's so Cernan was letting NASA strap him into an air-tight metal tube filled with flammable liquid, ignite it and then hurtle him skyward using technology contemporary with the 8-track.

-Americans in the 1970's
In addition to being goddamn heroic for exploring space during a time where navigational computations were handled by slide rule, Cernan has the distinction of being the last person to walk on the surface of the Moon. No one knew it at the time, but Apollo 17 would be America's final manned lunar mission. How come? Eh, it was the 70's, Vietnam was going on, Nixon was in office and I guess we just wanted to concentrate on becoming disillusioned with America.

Since there are no planned return trips to the Moon, Cernan probably died with the bittersweet understanding that he may never be supplanted as the last human to set foot on it. I don't think I'm alone in finding this an incredibly sad thought, so I hope you'll join me tonight in gazing up at the sky, shaking a menacing fist at our largest natural satellite and shouting in a loud, clear voice so as to be sure to wake the neighbors: "You haven't heard the last of us, Moon! You hear me! We'll be baaaaaack!"
Pictured: Astronaut Eugene Cernan,
seen here humping a model of the Moon.

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