Saturday, March 5, 2011

To the Moon

Do not be deceived by today's post. I did not travel to the moon recently and forgot to mention it on the blog. Actually, this is a photograph of the Apollo Lunar Module on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This is a real lunar module -- one of 12 built for the Apollo Project -- whose mission was cancelled due to the success of the first Apollo Lunar Module test vehicle. According to the museum, lunar modules are meant to be used in low Earth orbit to test the techniques of separation, rendezvous, and docking with the command and service module. During moon missions, the lunar module is released when the astronauts enter the command module to return to Earth, leaving the lunar module to remain on the moon.

Now with the end of NASA space shuttle missions -- the last shuttle launch occurred last week -- there is no need for this type of space vehicle. Like the other air and space relics displayed at the Air and Space Museum, this lunar module becomes just a reminder of America's ambitious space exploration program and that once upon a time, Americans traveled in space.

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