A Personal Note: Today’s Heroic Hunks in History post is not my usual sort. I’m continuing the theme of Apollo Belvedere as a model for Hunkish Handsomeness but adding three additional, more contemporary, Heroic Hunks and making a political commentary that breaks my heart.
The Apollo 17 patch is the featured pic with the Apollo Belvedere, the god of the sun, looking into the distance at vistas America has yet to explore. The Apollo 17 mission in December, 1972 was the last time astronauts left Earth’s orbit, then landed and walked on the moon.
The official NASA caption to the press release photo (credit: NASA Johnson) of the Apollo 17 patch reads: “The insignia is dominated by the image of Apollo, the Greek sun god. Suspended in space behind the head of Apollo is an American eagle of contemporary design, the red bars of the eagle’s wing represent the bars in theU.S.flag; the three white stars symbolize the three astronaut crewmen. The background is deep blue space and within it are the Moon, the planet Saturn and a spiral galaxy or nebula. The Moon is partially overlaid by the eagle’s wing suggesting that this is a celestial body that man has visited and in that sense conquered. The thrust of the eagle and the gaze of Apollo to the right and toward Saturn and the galaxy is meant to imply that man’s goals in space will someday include the planets and perhaps the stars. The colors of the emblem are red, white and blue, the colors of our flag; with the addition of gold, to symbolize the golden age of space flight that will begin with this Apollo 17 lunar landing. The Apollo image used in this emblem was the Apollo of Belvedere sculpture now in the Vatican Gallery in Rome. This emblem was designed by artist Robert T. McCall in collaboration with the astronauts.”
The collage pictures the Apollo 17 patch, the Saturn V Rocket that launched the command module America and the lunar module Challenger into space, and a crew portrait of Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt, Ronald E. Evans, and Eugene A. Cernan—the last astronaut to walk on the moon.
Last week (6/1/2011), the Space Shuttle Endeavour landed for the last time. Next month, the Space Shuttle Atlantis will make its last flight to International Space Station. President Obama has taken America out of space for the short-term and, according to three former Apollo commanders in a letter to President Obama, for the long-term as well.
Check out the excerpt of a letter printed on 4/13/2010 by MSNBC in which former astronauts Neil Armstrong, James Lovell and Eugene Cernan urge President Obama to reconsider what they warn would be “devastating” new policies for the future of NASA:
“For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destinies our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President’s plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.
Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal.”
To read the entire letter: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36470363/ns/nightly_news/t/armstrong-obama-nasa-plan-devastating/
For future trips to the Space Station, the United Sates must hitch a ride with the Russians at a cost of $50,000,000 (yes, 50 million dollars) per seat. Both shuttles will be placed in museums, even though they have completed only half the missions for which they were designed and NASA will lose about 7,000 jobs. Saddest of all, American children must view the shuttles in museums as relics of America’s proud past, rather than watch those magnificent shuttles blast into space inspiring their dreams for the future.
Next week, another Apollo Belvedere knock-off. Rita Bay
Filed under: Heroic Hunks in History | Tagged: Apollo 17, Apollo 17 patch, Apollo Astronauts letter to Obama, Apollo Belvedere, Command Module America, Eugene A. Cernan. Space Shuttle Endeavour, Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt, James Lovell, Lunar module Challenger, NASA, Neil Armstrong, President Obama, Roert T. McCall, Ronald E. Evans |