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In celebration of the anniversary this week of the Apollo 12 mission to the Moon in November 1969, the science team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have created a wonderful animation showing step-by-step where and when Pete Conrad and Alan Bean walked during their two EVAs on the lunar surface.
That video is below. It highlights strongly the need of any future short-term mission to any planetary landing to have a vehicle on board. Conrad and Bean accomplished a lot during their two four-hour walks, but nowhere near as much as they could have accomplished if they could have driven about on their EVAs. In fact, in the 1960s NASA had already recognized this, and was to put a rover on the last three Apollo lunar landings.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.