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Guest: Gideon Marcus; Topics: A unique view early space history, lessons learned, space today and how our culture has impacted what we do, how we do it and where we go in space.
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We welcomed Gideon Marcus to the show for the first time for a one segment one hour forty minute discussion revolving around Galactic Journey, his blog and website. Galactic Journey goes back in time to the early space program development and reports events "live" as they happen on the real timeline blog. Be sure to listen to the Gideon introduce us to this site and his work as we will be referring to it throughout our entire discussion. Visit http://galacticjourney.org throughout our program and by all means, share the site and this unique way of examining early space program history and then later on, what is happening today. Like myself and many listeners, I am sure you will see many similarities other than the few that our guest pointed out.
Gideon explained the site and how it works with real time history unfolding from the past. He talked about early Apollo breaking news plus we referred lots of what was going on in 1961-64 including Sputnik. Gideon weaved a great connecting line for these events and later when we started to do some extrapolating to modern times, seeing patterns of behavior and such unfold was as I said above, easy to both see and understand. Listen carefully to our initial discussion with Gideon, not only because it set the discussion for ou program going forward, but you will see trends, developments, policies, and decisions emerge that pretty much dictate what we see happening in the current timeline.
Later in the discussion, I asked Gideon about the JFK assassination and space. Not only did Gideon put that in the right context for space policy and our program, he talked about what LBJ did after the death of President Kennedy. Don't miss this part of our discussion. As you will hear, LBJ was very good at working Congress while JFK was not that good at it. LBJ knew how to get the space program and going to the Moon completed. Gideon further mentioned the Nixon attitude toward space, budget cuts and had Nixon been president other than JFK or LBJ, most likely we would not have had the early space program of if we did, it would have looked very different with different goals.
In addition to blogging and reporting on the early space history as it was unfolding, Gideon also reported on developments with the Soviet space program. He talked about the Soyuz and what it meant when the Soviets threw in the towel regarding going to the Moon. Listen to what he said happened when the US was no longer dealing with vibrant competitor racing for the Moon. Perhaps a lesson learned for today?
We talked future early space years in history. For example, 1968 was a horrible year for space according to Gideon. Listen as to why. Tell us what you think by posting on our blog which is current 2019. A listener, taking a lead from earlier Space Show programs with Apollo book authors, asked about the impact of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo personalities, especially the astronaut personalities. Gideon mentioned many of these early astronauts by name along with some of their behaviors based on their unique personalities. We also talked technology and PR statements. For example, Gideon talked about NASA putting out calls for how best to go to the Moon during the JFK period. One proposal was by GE which of course was rejected along with other proposals. NASA then announced they would design the mission and hardware in house. Later, elements of the GE design showed up in Soyuz designs and planning. Gideon listed other examples when calls for ideas and work were put forth only to be cancelled for NASA to do the project inhouse. Along with our personality discussion, including a focus on media types and NASA top people, Gideon called out a few of the early astronauts for their personality quirks that impacted the program. Make sure you hear this discussion.
Caller Gene in Pasadena wanted to discuss culture and impact and cited Woodstock with about 500,000 in attendance compared to reports of up to a few million watching the Apollo 11 launch. This was an interesting discussion but Gideon said a better example beyond Woodstock was The Altamont Speedway Free Festival counterculture rock concert. Don't miss the reasoning which was explained for Gideon suggesting this to be a better pop or even counter culture comparison even. Once again, let us know what you think by posting on the blog. Before Gene got off the phone, I asked him for an update on his SSP article which he previously told us on a Space Show program would be so powerful it could change the discussion and more. As you will hear, he is still working on it but he said he was getting good reviews. He was not yet ready to send me a copy
We talked technology and the early 60's backlash against technology. I brought up what appears t be a backlash against technology today as well. Gideon had much to say about this so don't miss it. As for talking changes and impact for today, Gideon mentioned the Keppler Space Telescope project and the new NASA follow up, the TESS mission. As part of the technology discussion, our guest talked about Soviet advances such as the first three person spaceship plus other firsts.
As we neared the end of the show, we talked more about science fiction and women over the years in science fiction as well as in the early space program. When a listener asked about space advocacy, he talked about women not being targeted back then. We both shared experiences about women authors writing under their own name or thinking they had to use a pseudo name since women had a harder road to success in the early years. This was a most interesting discussion so don't miss it. From this topic, we jumped to early history of how we got GEO comsats and the old ATT competition during the JFK period. As part of this discussion, I asked Gideon if he thought we were getting value for our money with our public space program. Be sure not to miss his reply. I bet it surprises you. Comments on the blog are welcome on this point.
Our guest had very interesting closing comments. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach our guest through me or through his website which once again is http://galacticjourney.org.