Tag Archives: space travel
2001 Theatrical Re-Release
2001: A Space Odyssey … Returns
UK Re-release to theaters in November
Only the big screen can do justice to this film. I hope it comes to the States.
See also last year’s post: 2001
Metal comes in one door.
Rockets go out another.
Living or Dead …
Apollo 11 Main Engines Found
The Saturn V main F1 engines from Apollo 11 have been recovered from a depth of three miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Saturn V F1 engines were the most powerful rocket engines ever made. Each one produced over 1.5 million pounds of thrust. The five F1 engines on the Saturn V made it the most powerful launch vehicle ever at over 7.5 million pounds of thrust.
Just over forty years ago on May 14, 1973, I was lucky enough to be among the press and dignitaries sitting on the bleachers or standing in front of the turning basin at the Launch Complex 39 Press Site for the last ever Saturn V launch. I was 19 years old.
My best friend’s aunt was a professional photographer. She got each of us a press pass for the launch of the Skylab space station. For a teenage space fan, who had watched every manned launch since Alan Shepard’s first suborbital Mercury launch, this was truly “dying and going to heaven”.
For several days before the launch we got to go on exclusive tours of the launch site. We were able to see Walter Cronkite’s broadcast booth. NASA loaded us up with press packets and thick tomes of specifications. I can not begin to tell you how totally cool this was.
On launch day I was standing near the countdown clock in the picture above.
I was just three miles away from the launch pad. When the engines fired up, the sound of the F1 engines was felt as much as heard. The low base rumbling seemed to reach directly into my chest and vibrate my heart and lungs. As the Saturn V rose into the sky, I could smell the burned kerosene of the exhaust as I felt the waves of warm air wafting over me.
This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Having covered the why and what of Contrafactual, I will now address the who. This turns out to be an interesting dilemma for me. I have always been a very private person, my wife even more so. When I told her about this blog she emphatically insisted “Don’t tell them my name.”
I have never been a big fan of social media. Don’t get me wrong. I just never felt that it was for me personally. Although I have a Twitter account, I could never imagine why anyone would dote on my every activity. So needless to say I don’t post on it. Same for Facebook. I got an account to see what my son was up to. He rarely calls, but he posts daily. It was the best way for me to follow his actities, especially when he was living abroad. Finally there is LinkedIn. Yeah got an account there too, solely for business contacts.
I am not a joiner, never have been. Yet here I am on a mission to write something everyday and submit it to the world for critique. As they say in the spy movies, what I tell you will be on a “need to know” basis. (They also say “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.” This would however be a bit extreme in this case.) If your web sleuthing skills are good and you must know all about me I certainly can’t stop you. If and when this blog makes me a rich and famous celebrity, I will deal with the inevitable lack of privacy.
My real name is Christian Bergman, I go by Chris, and often sign emails with cb. I have a day job that pays well, but it is irrelevant in the context of Contrafactual. I have read many times that one’s profession or job does not make the person. I fully subscribe to this. The job does not and should not define the person. I strive to have a life outside of nine-to-five that is distinctly my own.
I have been married to the same woman for over thirty-five years. I have two children: sons. One lives three hours away by car. The other lives at home. I also share my home with four cats. Three of them claim me and/or my wife. The fourth claims my son. Stories and pictures of the cats will be shared in the near future.
Authors I have read and enjoyed over the years:
- Richard Dawkins
- John Scalzi
- Kim Stanley Robinson
- Douglas Adams
- Michael Crichton
- Douglas Hofstadter
- Robert Heinlein
- Arthur C. Clark
- Roger Zelazny
2001 A Space Odyssey (Kubrick / Clark) the movie and the book and Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein) were watershed events of my teenage years.
I am a child of the Space Age, who grew up south of the Florida Space Coast. My early memories include the original Mercury Seven launches. I still remember the little Mercury Capsule model that came with my Science Service (now Science News) subscription. Throughout the 1960’s, I watched every mission, fixated on our black and white TV. Later when I was a teenager, my dad took me up to see one of the early Saturn V launches (9?, 10? … the mission not my age). As soon as I had my driver’s license, I drove up to watch the Apollo 16 & 17 launches from a point on the coast eleven miles away. A few years later, a stroke of luck put me at the main press site three miles from the launch pad of the final Saturn V launch (Skylab) … forty years ago. My final trip occurred on summer break from college when I drove up to watch the last Apollo launch, the US half of the US-Russian Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Even today I continue to follow private and government space programs. I have a keen interest in SpaceX. I also follow most unmanned missions as time permits.
I play chess. I have just discovered Frozen Synapse for iPad. I am excited by the sneak peak of Morning Star Alpha for iPad. I follow the trials and tribulations of Apple with great interest and I even own a few shares of AAPL stock. One of my other fantasies is to become an iPad game developer. Contrafactual is actually written and maintained using a first generation iPad.
I love scotch. I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Single Malt Scotch.
- Port Charlotte
- Aberlour A’bunadh
- Ardbeg Uigeadail
Sipping only and not to excess.
Recently watched (all or up-to-date):
- Doctor Who
- Breaking Bad
- The Prisoner (1967)
So, now you have something about me to chew on for a while. Be seeing you …