Posts Tagged ‘flight’

For Folks Under Age 45, Moon Walking is Something You Read About in a History Book

January 31, 2014
AStronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon.  (NASA Photo)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon. (NASA Photo)

I just read a story in the Richmond-Times Dispatch about the Smithsonian’s new $79 million dollar conservation hanger at the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles International Airport,  where among its many artifacts that are being prepared for conservation are Apollo-era spacesuits.  Those spacesuits are now 40 and 50 years old. They are fragile, brittle and deteriorating.  Conservators are working on ways to slow the decay.

It made me reflect on the fact that the incredible act of putting a man on the  Moon is a historic event.  America put 12 men on the Moon between 1969 and 1972, and then stopped.  No man has set foot on Earth’s natural satellite since December, 1972.

China, the 3rd country to successfully conduct a soft moon landing – the U.S. and the former Soviet Union being the first two –  safely landed a robot called Jade Rabbit on the moon in December and it has sent back scientific information, but it has suffered a mechanical problem and could stop working.  The robotic rover was named Jade Rabbit after the Chinese mythical rabbit that was said to have lived on the moon.

How well I remember that first Moon landing in 1969.  I was working at WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina. My son Rick, a small boy at the time,  and my late wife Judy, and I could look out our den window and see the bright full Moon as we watched the lunar landing on TV.  We had just bought our first color set to see it in color. It was telecast in black and white.  Still, we then had a color TV to enjoy for many years.

Rick was ten years old at the time, so he can remember the event, so it’s not just history to him.  But, it is just history for anyone over 45-years-old.

Will any country put a man on the Moon in the future?  It’s possible, but with sophisticated robots to give us scientific information about it, why spend all that money and risk human life?  Space exploration continues, but it’s a robot’s game.  Who would want to spend the 150 to 300 days in a small space ship it would take to get to Mars?  That’s what it has taken for the different spacecraft that have made the trip over the last 50 years.

Jack Pezold on the Sale of CSG Aviation to Columbus Metropolitan Airport Commission

July 23, 2009

I asked Columbus businessman Jack Pezold  how he felt about the Columbus Airport Commission buying the CSG Aviation fixed base operation from his company for $1.8 million.  “It’s like broadcasting, Dick. We are better off out of it,” he said with a smile in his voice.  At one time he owned WXTX, channel 54, and, at one time, I anchored the news on a number of stations in Georgia and South Carolina, including WRBL and WTVM in Columbus.

He told me that part of the deal will be the use of a hangar for a number of years, and he will continue to provide a charter flight service.  However, his three charter planes are no longer based in Columbus. They are operating out of the Tallahassee, Florida airport.  He says he gets a better deal on property taxes there, plus a lot of business,  because Florida State University and the Florida State Capitol are located there.  His planes will, however, be available for Columbus charter flights.

Starting August 1st,  the airport commission will operate Flightways Columbus, which will replace CSG Aviation.