Charlie Grinker Presents: Five Stops On Your Way To Mars

Charlie Grinker Presents:  Five Stops On Your Way To Mars

In 1969, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, safely back on planet Earth after a trip to the Moon said, ”There’s an historic milestone in the fact that our Apollo landing on the Moon took place a mere 66 years after the Wright Brothers first flight.” How true and how sad that Orville and Wilbur Wright, two bicycle building brothers from Dayton, Ohio, achieved history’s first powered flight on December 17, 1903 – but were ignored. The brothers sent a telegram to their father asking that he inform the press but even their hometown newspaper, the Dayton Journal, refused to publish the story saying the flights were too short to be important. Too short? That reminds us to give you an important tip for your trip to Mars. Earth’s distance from Mars is 140 million miles, depending on the position of the planets at different times of the year. So before you book your flight find out at what time of the year the Earth and Mars are the shortest distant apart. It can cut the 140 million mile trip to as little as 35 million miles.

In the early 20th century Robert Goddard, the Father of Space, developed the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket. In the 1920’s most folks and the press thought he was crazy. His wife Esther, with her amateur motion picture camera, filmed his failures as well as his successes which she later loaned to Charlie to use in his Disney special Moon Man From Massachusetts. You’ll witness many great moments including Goddard’s launch of the world’s first liquid fueled rocket on March 16, 1926. Soon after that Charles Lindbergh became a key supporter of Goddard and convinced the Guggenheim Foundation to help fund the Professor’s work. In 1951 Goddard’s estate filed suit against the U.S. government for prior infringement of his patents for the liquid-fueled rocket. In 1960, the parties settled the suit. Esther Goddard and the Goddard’s estate received $1 million dollars dollars, at that time the largest government settlement ever paid in a patent case.

In 1927 a stunt flier named Charles Lindbergh became the first human to solo the Atlantic in an airplane, non-stop, from New York to Paris.
Nicknamed The Lone Eagle he immediately became the most popular man on Earth. People behaved as though he had walked on water, not flown over it. Lindy’s achievement spurred interest in both commercial aviation and air mail. To the surprise of many hoever he soon became a key supporter of Robert Goddard’s rocketry. But why? Goddard’s wife Esther tells Charlie she asked Lindbergh that question when he visited with them a few months later at their home in Worcester, Massachusetts. Esther asked him, What brings you here Mr. Lindbergh? Few knew that Lindy was a firm believer in the need to reach out into space replied, “Mrs. Goddard, the airplane has taken us as far as it can go.”

On July 29, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk upon the Moon. Armstrong announced the landing to Mission Control and to the world with the words, “Houston, Tranquility Base here, The Eagle has landed.” Mission Control responded, “Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue – we’re breathing again – thanks a lot!” Space history was not forgotten on the remarkable voyage into a new dimension. The Command Module had been named Columbia after the Columbiad, the giant cannon shell “spacecraft” fired by a giant cannon (also from Florida) in Jules Verne’s1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon. We share memories of this once-in-a-lifetime day with celebrated Americans who were as amazed as the rest of us including Oprah Winfrey, Neil Simon, Betty Ford, Mickey Mantle, Chuck Berry, Senator/Astronaut John Glenn, Senator Strom Thurmond, Maya Angelou, and Tom Brokaw.

In 1985 Charlie Grinker had the pleasure of interviewing Judith Resnick and Ron McNair, two young Astronauts in training in Texas.
A few months later Judith and Ron became part of the Challenger crew. We are there in 1986 as the world cheers them on. But joy turns to tragedy when 73 seconds after liftoff the Challenger explodes bringing a devastating end to the spacecraft’s 10th mission. The disaster claimed the lives of all seven astronauts aboard, including Christa McAuliffe, a teacher from New Hampshire who had been selected to join the mission and teach lessons from space to school children across the U.S.A. Millions of children were watching that day. Many experienced the sadness as if the Challenger crew were part of their family. They will never forget these brave men and women who had left their footprints in the history of powered flight.

Earth to Mars and back could take 2-3 years so many folks today wonder if humans could survive the trip. Sounds like the voices less than 50 years ago when most people wondered if we would ever walk upon the Moon. NASA continues to demystify the journey to Mars. Progress continues day after day including streamlined space suits and gourmet space food. There’s talk of a plasma rocket that could cut the journey down from 2-3 years to a couple of weeks. And there are many surprises. NASA’s twin explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, have lasted 16 times longer on Mars than expected and driven 20 times further. They’ve now been joined by high-tech satellites surveying Mars from orbit . Thanks to NASA we are able today to take a close look at the once alien planet. Earthlings have witnessed many achievements once thought impossible on our trip from Kitty Hawk to the Moon. Time now to get ready for the Red Planet.

Five Stops On Your Way To Mars

Five Stops On Your Way To Mars

07:00 pm
Black Box Theater