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NASA scientist on discovery of earth’s “cousin” planet

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Apollo Astronaut: We’re Not Exploring Space Anymore

Larry King NowFeb 17 '16

Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, says that while we are developing hardware to explore the great beyond, space exploration is far what it was during the space race era -- and we need to get back to that.


*Posted Online on Ora.TV on Feb 17th 2016:

“It’s really not the story of my life. It’s the story of a young kid- I grew up in Chicago, could’ve been anybody. Young kid from any town USA who was born and grew up during WWII, who had a dream. My dream after watching all those news reels of those naval aviators at midway flying out and boarding ship. I want to do that. That’s my dream. That dream was so far over the horizon, I couldn’t reach it with a thousand foot pole. My dad had a dream and I think you can appreciate this kind of thing. My dad had a dream. He wanted me to get the education he never had an opportunity to get and those dreams sort of coalesced when I graduated from Purdue University. Engineering degree in one hand and orders for Pensacola Florida for navy flight training in the other. And the rest is sort of history because the purpose of the movie is when I realized it wasn’t about me. It was about the story of this young kid.”

“It’s no longer a space race. We’re in what I call-- We’re more local. We’re staying home. We’re ‘space exploitation.’ We’re exploiting the knowledge we’ve learned with the space station and we did it with Shuttle and of course Shuttle is no longer with us. We’re not exploring space anymore. We’re building hardware.”

“If I could make everything one-sixth gravity, we could jump and move and get there quicker and we’d weigh one-sixth as much. Weight watchers kind of stuff wouldn’t work.”

“I’ll tell you what you remember most about the moon. Two things: 1) When we landed, after all the noise and vibration of going through and people talking to you and you shut the engine down and the dust is gone, you are now for the first time seeing what has never been seen by human eyes. You are now where human beings had never been before. It becomes the most quiet moment of your life.”

“You know the multi-color blues of the ocean, the white of the clouds, and the snow. You’re seeing a three-dimensional earth. It’s dynamic. It’s alive. It rotates on an axis. Every twelve hours, you’re look at the other side of the world. You look from north pole to south pole. You look across oceans and continents. Very much unlike Earth Orbit- which is wonderful. If you’ve never been there, go. But this is when you really see the earth, surrounded by the blackest black. Not darkness. Blackness.”

“You know it didn’t happen by accident. There’s somebody, some creator, something up there that we don’t fully understand. I sat on God’s front porch for three days of my life.”

“There’s no question there’s a lot of places money can be spent, but there are- It’s not so much how much we spend our money or how much money we’ve spent. It’s how we spend our money and I think space exploration, discovery—curiosity is the essence of human existence.” - Gene Cernan reflecting on his testament against Obama’s cancellation of the constellation program.

“As you said, there’s a lot of ways to spend money in the country. There’s a lot of problems in the country. I think putting a space program back together is one way of helping solve those problems.”

“Nice guy, but I’m not sure you’d get me up there for a year…It’s a long time. I sent him a message before he left and I know his brother really well. I sent him a message before he left.I said, ‘ Scott, good luck have a great time and enjoy every minute of it. Rather you than me.’ And he sent a message back and said, ‘Gene, rather—he reversed that- He said, ‘I’d rather have been where you’ve been than where I am.’ On the other hand, he’s going to do just one heck of a job, And he is. He’s a good man.” Gene Cernan on astronaut Scott Kelly.

“When I saw that movie, I sat there and I watched it by myself on television. I was on the moon with that kid. ‘That kid.’ Not the moon, Mars. I could’ve been there. The way it depicted the moon and the rover and the equipment and whatever else, it was extremely realistic to me and it’s certainly possible.” - Gene Cernan on the possibilities of life on Mars and his thoughts on the Scott Ridley film, The Martian.