Monday, August 15, 2016

astro picture(s) for the day / the stupidity of humanity

Image(s) credit(s) - ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope

The Apollo 1 capsule fire is often brought up when viewing some Apollo/Saturn V, and moon landing videos.  There's not much more significant to be said, other than, an accident happened, and everyone just kept on going because, what else are they going to do but their jobs?

What's really remarkable about the Apollo 1 capsule fire was that it was so stupid!  How does a team of hundreds of thousands of engineers miss such an obvious possibility of a spark causing a fire . . . in a pure oxygen/high atmospheric pressure confined space  . . . get missed?

It's one thing to not question the beliefs that one is conditioned to believe in; but, when something so obviouse as the above case happens . . . this says a lot about humans inability, quite often, to step back and try to see what staring them in the face!

In computer program, one tests the program to see if it runs as they thought it should.  Quite often, it doesn't.  The programmer built based on unquestioned assumptions. The programmer often goes about his/her life acting like they're normal and smart and all.  They're friends pat them on the back in approval of their behaviors.  Few try to write a program or do some kind of mathematics, and so they don't ever get hit in the face; they don't learn that they need to stop themselves in their tracks . . . look around . . . and see what's going on.  Even those who do, are not well rounded enough to see a danger . . . or even a new idea to ponder.

- on a personal note, I met these Chaffee twins/girls in junior high school -way back in like 1989. We were in science class and they were oddly fascinated in my reading of "The Exploding Universe." It's an alright general science book, covering astronomy to particle physics and cosmology.  It even starts from an account of the Greek ideas of five elements - fire, water, earth, air, and quintessence. They thought I was smart.  They're hair was like some red haired afros!  By high school, they learned to change their hair a little bit and look a little sexier. We ran cross-country and track and field together during high school.

I was sitting in the grass, reading some book before either cross-country or track workouts, and it hit me. Chaffee was one of the astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 fire.  I looked right up at them, and they just walked away.  They saw in my eyes that I just hit on something!  The coach was a bit struck by this as well. He read they didn't want to share or talk about it.  He somehow knew as well!  These two Chaffee girls are descendents of Roger Chaffee. They were like, "oh boy, he figured it out!"

They of course never knew him personally. Maybe they felt like they didn't need to brag about such a bad way to go.

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