Tuesday, March 28, 2006

James Lovell

Matt from Begging to Differ describes a new statue at Alder Planetarium in Chicago
On the Apollo 8 flight Lovell, whose main duty on the trip was navigation, held up his thumb and covered the entire disc of the Earth, which brought home for him how far away he was. (Hanks has this as part of his Apollo 13 movie.) A new statue at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago commemorates this historic gesture. It shows Lovell, space suit glove off, navigational book in hand, holding his thumb up to the capsule window, where a small Earth is visible. Beside the statue an inscription reads, "I have seen the Earth as it truly is... a grand oasis in the vastness of space." Thirty-seven -- 37! -- years on and still not many people can truly say that.

It says a great deal about a culture - much of it not good - that we sent a handful of men to the moon and then just stopped going.
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