Us and the fascination with the moon Part 1:
So, before we dig too deep into the topics we are unraveling, we here at strange uncles will state this: Not saying that we believe in the conspiracies or possible funding of the programs we are going to talk about, but it does seem awful funny that there was a time, way back when, when it seemed shit was proverbially hitting the said fan…Mainly due to the whole cold war thing. Does being threatened with territorial attacks, as well as possible nuclear abomination scare you a little? It would us, and it seems it didn’t do good for our government either. So, the programs we are talking about, relates to the late 50’s, early 60’s time frame, and were pretty sure it was in direct relation to everything going on at that time frame…Space Race, cold war, and trying to keep our new-found Scientists we stole from the Nazi’s busy. A plethora of reasons and cause and effects that more than likely led to these infamous programs. But let’s not pick on US alone, other countries such as Russia (USSR at the time), were right along with us in cockamamy ideas. So, grab a beer, slap your significant other, and strap in….. were going down the rabbit hole.
In episode 14.5, if we had you as a listener for that long, you guys remember where we covered “The rabbit hole of NASA”. We dived into when they were founded, why, and which organizations they swallowed into their clubhouse. So just a reminder on that, NASA was founded on July 29th, 1958. We mention this because many of these programs were either started very close to that time, or not to soon after. Again, there were all kinds of political climate Bull Shit going on in that era, so were assuming there were some kind of programs that whether they got off the ground or not, were still entertained, and in some cases, millions of dollars were thrown at these ideas, only to find out they were fucking stupid……anyhoo, here we go.
“I envision expeditious development of the proposal to establish a lunar outpost to be of critical importance to the U.S. Army of the future. This evaluation is apparently shared by the chief of staff in view of his expeditious detail to be covered by the investigation and the subsequent plan should be as complete as is feasible in the time limits allowed and within the funds currently available within the office of the chief of ordnance. In this time of limited budget, additional monies are unavailable. Current programs have been scrutinized rigidly and identifiable “fat” trimmed away. Thus, high study costs are prohibitive at this time. I leave it to your discretion to determine the source and the amount of money to be devoted to this purpose”.
That is a portion of the letter from Arthur G. Trudeau, Chief of research and development, writing to the chief of ordnance on March 20th, 1959.
Now, keep in mind, the “Supposed Apollo mission landed on the moon on October 27th, 1961, almost two years prior to this idea. But, as we mentioned, the Space race was on, and ideas like this were thrown around like a banana in a monkey cage. This is how the idea unfolded: NASA drew up a map of the moon, of possible areas where this lunar outpost would be stationed. Even before we landed on it. The original idea was to have a moderate outpost where one astronaut would found it and upkeep it, and down the road, 10-20 astronauts would be able to live and sustain there for whatever time needed. Originally, it would be set-up as an observation post, but come on…we know how we think. If you read through the entire Horizon PDF that was released about the program, the word “Military”, is thrown around throughout. Being that we are in the heart of the Space race with Russia mainly, I’m sure Military was on every one of those hypocrites’ minds. Part of the design of “Project Horizon”, was not only a Lunar base and modules, but a weapons system designed to deter whatever missiles might be fired at it. Go figure.
Fun Fact: although we found what the proposed cost would have been for Project horizon (7.5 Billion BTW), we also found this. In 1961, each American citizen, through taxes, were paying 20.00 a year to fund NASA and its projects, namely the Apollo mission. JFK believed that that sum had to get to 26.00 per citizen in order to fund the astronauts to just LAND on the moon. In today’s standards, that would mean we would be paying a little over 200.00 a year, directly to NASA, for the same expedition. Don’t forget, we still pay around 54.00 per year, out of our taxes, for NASA. Just in case you wanted to be pissed off
So, not soon after the project Horizon flamed up but ultimately failed, mainly due to no support, and financing, The US decided to go crazy again and come up with another program called “Project Lunex”. This was yet another Moon based type program that the Air Force was part of. This was a, I guess you would say, Pre-plan before the Apollo program was developed. This program had a cost tied to it of 7.5 billion dollars, unlike the Project Horizon program that was vague in what the cost would be, this program was a little more thought out. In a nutshell, this proposed plan was to begin populating an underground base that would accommodate a 21 crew habitat underground, and be completed by 1968. Really, the main difference between Lunex and the later Apollo mission was this: The “Orbital Rendezvous Maneuver”. Where the (supposed, ahem) Apollo mission was to have the ascent module separate from the command module and land on the moon. Lunex would have the entire module itself land on, and take off, from the moon. Again, let’s not Bullshit a Bull shitter here. Yes, we were thinking big and wanting to explore other worlds other than our own boring one….But the main drive, just like the Apollo mission, The Project Horizon mission, or any mission that was directly involved in the space race, was the damn Ruskies. USSR continued to dig into the sides of the nation, being a direct threat for what they accomplished before we did. It didn’t help that the first satellite ever to be launched into space was from them, the infamous Sputnik 1. That move alone started a catalyst of us getting our panties in a wad, and founding NASA, as well as coming up with these fuckin’ ideas about living on the moon. Ultimately, the Apollo mission won out, mainly because of the bulk of an entire ship and the extra fuel that would need to be carried not only to land, but to take off and resume lunar orbit. When we mention how, as a country, we were desperate to be better than the soviets, this statement, directly quoted from the Lunex Program’s original documents may prove just that:
“The Lunar expedition has as its objective manned exploration of the moon with the first manned landing and return in late 1967. This one achievement if accomplished before the USSR, will serve to demonstrate conclusively that this nation possesses the capability to win future competition in technology. No space achievement short of this goal will have equal technological significance, historical impact, or excite the entire world”.
Geez, what a fucking ego we had….Or still have, mind you. But, with all the history of these wacky fuckin’ ideas of not only landing on the moon, but inhabiting the moon, all is not lost. The Space Race started in 1955, when the Soviet Union announced their future achievements for space exploration to the US, and shit hit the fan from there for twenty years. Progress was made in 1967, when the “Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies”, was signed. Not only by the US, but the USSR, as well as the United Kingdom. It opened up the doors for other events to happen, such as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. This was an agreement that was made where a co-operative rendezvous in Earth’s orbit of a US astronaut and a soviet Cosmonaut happened. And of course, that helped to bring about the cooperative work needed to build and put the “International Space Station in orbit with its first component, or piece of the puzzle if you will, in 1998. Granted, the down side to all of these programs, missions, satellites, etc., is space junk. That is a topic that we have ready for another day. There are a few more notables that we continued to delve into.
So at the height of the Cold War, the United States had another crazy idea at hand. This idea really stemmed around trying to win the whole “propaganda war”, that was being battled back and forth between USSR an the US. So, to avoid the US losing to the Russians, we went into scramble mode and brought in some of the greatest scientific minds, which included Car Sagan, to figure out how to blow up the Moon…..Let me say that one more time. To figure out how to blow up the Moon. Nope, still sounds fucking crazy the second time around. This project was named A119, and was never carried out, however, here were the nuts and bolts of said project: In 1949, we were busy testing the effects of the nuclear explosion. Fast forward to 1957, and a one Edward Teller, the father of the so called “H” bomb, proposed to not only detonate a bomb in space, but test it also on the Lunar surface. Not only would this prove to do…….absolutely fucking nothing, but in there eyes it would show power, especially since the rumor was the Ruskies were planning the same thing. In 1958, a ten person team was assembled, which included world renowned scientist Car Sagan. 58’ soon turned into 59, and thank god, the drive to actually LAND on the moon took over as a priority. Along with this, laws were passed soon after to actually prevent such an event of happening…So good we guess?
Suffice to say, it would fucking blow your mind on how much shit is orbiting in our atmosphere and just drifting through space due to ideas stated above, as well as if history had a turning point and these things were actually close to taking hold, who knows where we would be. However, now it seems that peace is fairly in check and somewhat stable, not only between these two countries, but other countries as well. As we continue to explore our space whether it’s with humans or probes, designed to travel for millions of miles recording planets and anomalies as they go, it can only get better from here…..We hope.