Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 721

"If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big." - Donald Trump.

My sentiments exactly Don.  My sentiments exactly.

None of this half arsed bullshit.  Aim for the moon people! 

Picture Source

I don't know if you've noticed or not but I'm one of these people who stare at the moon a lot.  I look at it and hold out my arm to touch it.  It doesn't look that far away. Surely I can get there?  

I think it will take a bit more than a rocket made from a cardboard box.  There needs to be a strong jet propelled vessel with guided energy, but it is possible.  We know that .... we've seen it happen before.  It also doesn't happen over night. It takes a long time to get to the moon, or does it?  

Well let's see.  The moon is 380,000 km away.  So it's a bit further than Sydney, or Brisbane, or Hawaii, or New York.  The distance between me (in Canberra, Australia) and New York City right now is 16, 233.  Interestingly enough London is only a couple of hundred kilometres further than NYC coming in at 16,978 - that's flying in the opposite direction to the NYC flight. How do I know? I use this trusty calculator thingimo at www.timeanddate.com.  Anyway, the point of that is that the moon is a lot further away.  

There are different ways to get to the moon. There is the slow way, the medium way, a fairly quick way and a bloody speedy way that leaves the moon in its dust. For example, according to UniversityToday.com the slowest mission to fly to the Moon was actually one of the most advanced technologies to be sent into space. The ESA SMART-1 lunar probe was launched on September 27th 2003 and used a revolutionary ion engine to propel it to the Moon. It was very fuel efficient but took a year and a month to get there.  The SMART mission is an oddity as it is by far the longest mission to the Moon, the rest of the missions took a matter of days to reach lunar orbit. 

China’s Chang’e-1 mission took five days to cover the distance, using its rocket boosters.  Ah yes, those rocket boosters work wonders.  Interestingly enough, manned missions do it so much faster.  The ones where someone is actually there driving the thing.  The Apollo 11 astronauts reached lunar orbit after only three days in space on July 19th 1969.  

By far the fastest mission to fly past the Moon was NASA’s New Horizons Pluto mission. This mission had rockets powering the probe to over 58,000 km/hr to give it a good start . Although this seems impressive, it’s important to note that New Horizons was not slowing down to enter lunar orbit (like the Moon-specific missions above), it was still accelerating as the Moon was a mere dot in its rear view window. There was no time to smell the roses, take in the view or marvel at the goal it was trying to achieve in the first place. Still, it took eight hours and thirty-five minutes to cover the 380,000 km distance.

So the point of this post is to say that I wanna go to the moon. I've been aiming for it long enough and now I want to see it.  You're probably thinking that since my first book has been published that I must have made it?  Well no actually. My first book is a star, for sure (proving that if you aim for the moon at the very least you will end up among the stars), but my moon has my series of books all over the world, including in schools and communities where more disadvantaged kids may be struggling with their own sense of self worth.  My moon has my books helping children with special needs, children with little or no money, clothes or food, children with learning challenges, children who may lack love.  Kids who just need someone to say to them "you are powerful, you are worth it".  That's my moon.  One book is great! It's awesome, it's worth celebrating and I am grateful. But it's not my moon.

At the moment I feel like I have been flying in that fuel efficient energy saver version. But I'm ready to take the manned mission approach.  I'm ready to get on board Apollo, take the controls, drive the thing and head directly towards that big ol pie in the sky and savour the view as I arrive.  I may need some guidance though. And a few rockets.

What about you?

What is your moon?

Does anyone know a good astronaut?

Calling Richard Branson!  Richard Branson, Richard Branson, Richard Branson.  Are you out there? Oh Richard, Richard, where for art thou Richard? I'd like to go to the moon ....

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