The last Apollo flight

Here’s a great video, using restored original footage, of the Apollo 17 flight to the moon – the last flight of the Apollo program.  I remember this as it happened . . . the feelings of ‘end of an era’, the memories of the earlier Apollo flights, the wondering what would come next.  Watch it in full-screen mode for best results.

At the time, we wondered whether our children (or at least our grandchildren) would be living on Mars or another planet.  That dream has died in the bureaucratic, politically correct morass that NASA subsequently became . . . but who knows?  Perhaps, one day, the dream may yet fly again.



  1. No, unfortunately, it won't happen with the new administration. The can-do spirit of the American people has been diluted by 50 years of political correctness and leftist parasites. There is way too much inertia and bureaucracy to overcome.

  2. Roy,
    in addition, it requires an economy that is in good shape, and a manufacturing industry that is homegrown and responsive. We have neither. For instance, Silicon Valley's machining and fabricating shops were obliterated back in the early 00's. That I saw personally, and saw the auction listings for the rest of the nation. That is an industry that can't be regenerated overnight. The talent and expertise loss is a huge problem.

  3. @will, it does take time to recover, but the recovery may take a direction that you don't expect.

    While there are far fewer large machine shops nowdays, the number of people who have machine shops in their garage is also far higher.

    It's far easer and cheaper to setup a shop than it ever has been before, and with youtube and mailing lists, far easier to learn than it ever has been in the past

    no, these people aren't ready to work 40 hours/week in a machine shop producing the same thing over and over, but those jobs are going away around the world as it becomes easier and cheaper to have CNC machines doing this sort of repetitive tasks.

  4. Just was discussing this recently with a couple of relatives who worked at NASA and related industries during apollo and in more recent years. NASA has been gutted by political correctness and HR busybodies. Risk averse, rudderless, levels of incompetence that would NEVER have been tolerated in the salad days of nasa and an appalling lack of leadership at all levels. Those who are really competent and the few who are downright brilliant have been beaten into submission by the poisonous culture enforced by the political commisars that infest the place. There are a few places in the industry where genius can flourish unencumbered by such nonsense but they're getting harder to find and most of those are stifling in their own right due to the accompanying security scrutiny. It has been said dark world big brother can be easier to live with than regular world bitchy humorless busybody big sister.

  5. It is truly sad that my seven year old Grandson and his generation will never know the sense of awe, the feeling of wonder, and the heart in mouth fear that we felt for those Astronauts, all of them. Earth and its people were going somewhere, united (mostly) in one task, and they were leading the way. It was the best of times.
    Now, we have regressed, reduced once again to a rudderless scattering of insignificant pathetic tribes, that fight internally and externally for the pickings from the garbage heap that is now the lot of humanity.

  6. David Lang:

    where do you think all that equipment went?

    Home shops, China, other countries, and a very few expanding or updating shops here in the US.

    Lots of those auctions I attended were already boutique (small) places to start with. Some couldn't make a go of it in the downturn after the dotcom bust. Others were retiring, or going to work at bigger shops that were still hanging on. Some of those auctions were huge, the size of big warehouses. Their customers went away in various fashions, and then they did also.

    Very depressing to see it was so widespread. Like the collapse after the end of the space race. I remember engineers getting jobs working in service stations and other retail type jobs. Most said they weren't ever going back to work on .gov projects. Too unstable. Lots of them never worked as engineers again, for that matter.

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