THE USA I LOVE: SPACE, SPORTS AND SMARTS
A black man, a black young woman and thousands of smart and talented Americans of all races and genders made history last week.
by EricLafayette on August 7th 2012 www.fordemocracy.com
Sunday 5th August 2012 was a feast for all Americans and for me it was one of my highest points as an American citizen. The most complex landing on Mars was achieved and a bouncing 15 years old African American won 2 gold medals
I am watching the 2012 Olympics a quite a bit. It is a very special moment. It is one of the rare moments when you cannot feel the slightest hint of racism or the slightest hint of anti women prejudice. Many stories of athletes from poor countries read like rag to riches stories but in some cases it means going from poverty to the ability to own a few cows on a few acres of land. I cannot emphasize how much the Olympics are important. THE OLYMPIC GAMES TODAY CREATE A NEW IDEALISTIC PLANET FROZEN IN TIME AND SPACE FAR AWAY FROM RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM, RACISM, GENDER BASHING.
I have three main passions in my life Space exploration, Sports and inspirational History.
On Sunday 5th of August 2012 at 10.14 PM Pacific Time my country the USA rewarded me with joy and hope.
An American laboratory on wheels the largest rover that ever landed on Mars accomplished "Mission Impossible." One of the most complex and most delicate feats of engineering ever performed in Space became an American success.
After having traveled EIGHT months and 570 million kilometers a capsule protected by a heat shield entered the Mars atmosphere then a supersonic parachute opened. The heat shield was jettisoned and then a space crane propelled by eight throttle able rockets detached itself from the capsule and slowed down the rover to 6 km per hour. The space crane then hovered above Mars and let the heaviest lab-rover on wheels (almost a ton) glide down suspended from cables allowing it to land as safely as a feather would do on earth. Five minutes after the landing we had pictures from Mars.
Nobody in the world can do that but us. A nation must really have a huge number of intelligent, highly trained and inspired people to achieve such a difficult task. To be frank I have always been a big NASA fan and after CURIOSITY and YES it is the name of the new MARS rover landed everybody in the NASA control room were hugging each other and crying and yes even seasoned grey haired engineers were crying like babies and I was crying too because this is HUGE.
Thank you NASA for making me proud of being an American and special thanks to my friends at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, an arm of NASA in charge of the Mars mission. It took guts and smarts to choose such a complex landing system.
Charlie Bolden NASA administrator which in fact is the equivalent of CEO in a private company is a black man and to top it all the chief of the lunar landing mission is Charles Elachi originally from Lebanon who as the head of the Jet Propulsion laboratory a division of NASA has been in charge of the project since 2001. In short an African American and an Immigrant achieved the impossible for the benefit of the US and of humanity at large.
NASA among other experiments will be looking at microscopic particles that would show that life could have existed on Mars.
President Obama said, "Even the longest of odds are no match for America's unique blend of technical acumen and gutsy determination."
For a very detailed description of the mission go to: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/docs/MSLLaunch.pdf
THE OLYMPIC GAMES
On this story I am only one among many Americans who fell in love with Gabby Douglas the American Gymnast who won a team gold medal and an Individual all-around Gold medal at the London Olympics of 2012.
This is a great story the American way. Gabby was raised in Virginia Beach by a single mother and started gymnastics at the age of six. At the time of the 2012 London Olympics she is a slender 15 year old African American who can bounce and fly like nobody else.
When she was 14 she campaigned to be authorized to train with Coach Liang Chow. It was her choice and it involved moving to Des Moines, Iowa and living with a host family the Partons. In the beginning neither her mom nor her future coach Liang Chow was convinced of the wisdom of this move. Gabby fought for her goal, won the agreement of her mom and her new coach and moved to Des Moines. After many successful competitions she won her selection for the American Gymnastic Team heading to the 2012 London Olympics.
She went to London and she delivered.
She was part of the team that won the Team Gold Medal in Gymnastics.
In the Individual all-around competition she won an Individual Gold Medal.
She delivered all these medals with a smile to die for. You will soon be able to see her smile on Kellogg Corn Flakes boxes.
She is the second African American woman after Dominique Dawes who won team gold in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics to win a gold medal in Gymnastics. She broke the racial barrier again.
In the USA, In Gymnastic a sport dominated by white men and white women it is always comforting to see a trend.
In contrast I saw women from Qatar and Saudi Arabia dressed in conservative Muslim dress from head to toe including head scarves. They failed miserably. It was obvious they had been sent only to diffuse critics who had been saying that Muslim religious states oppressed women and were not allowing them to compete in sports events. It was pathetic but there was a tiny spec of hope as these women were at least allowed by their countries to compete but only after "the International Olympic Committee threatened to bar all Saudi athletes if the team did not include women. Brunei and Qatar, which had also barred female athletes in past Olympics, were quick to give in to the I.O.C.'s arm-twisting." (NYT) Let us who live in countries whose Constitution asserts the separation of Church and State continue to assert pressure on people who wage war on women.
SMARTS AND INSPIRATIONAL HISTORY
In the past week ending on Sunday August 5th 2012 I have seen much hope as an American and even more as a progressive American.
We all needed to renew our hope after a decade of oppression by anti women, racist, right wing Conservatives who are in the process of destroying their own nation if it is what it takes to win an election against a black President.
A black man Charles Bolden showed that he can lead a team of many thousand scientists into one of the most complex and ambitious scientific projects in space and achieve success. The Boss of these two Administrators is another African American named President Barack Obama. This mission shows that Americans can be smarter than any other people on earth if given the right opportunity.
In the 2012 Olympics a talented and beautiful 15 year old African American girl broke a racial barrier again by winning two gold medals in gymnastics a sport predominantly white. What I like as an Historian is that although many racial barriers due mainly to Conservatives must still be conquered. I can feel that the trend towards a less racially unjust America is there, and it makes me happier because we can see that hope is becoming more and more tangible.
CONQUERING SPACE AND CONQUERING GOLD MEDALS, SHOWS THAT A NATION OR AN INDIVIDUAL CAN BE JUDGED ONLY ON MERIT AND ACHIEVEMENT, WHAT CAN BE BETTER FOR DEMOCRACY.
More progressive and Historical articles on
UPDATE ON MY JOY OF BEING AN AMERICAN by Eric Lafayette
Visiting the California Science Center and Specifically the Air and Space Exhibits.
I have been there before but thanks to new additions On October 2nd 2015 I had a Fantastic day because I saw many other proofs
that Human kind and my fellow Americans can achieve the Impossible.
I was able to see and come very close, so close to the Aircraft and Spacecrafts that I could almost touch them.
The pictures below will show you the 3 best Aircraft and Spacecrafts ever built:
The Apollo Capsule/Module
US Astronauts were the First Humans to walk on the Moon and come back
thanks to this Apollo module/capsule part of a 3 elements Spacecraft that went to the Moon.
This Huge American Space Shuttle one among a fleet of other Shuttles that were crucial in building
The International Space Station and could carry a crew of Seven Astronauts
SR 71 the Fastest Plane in the Air
The SR71 was the fastest plane ever built at 3 times the Speed of sond and established an Unbeaten Record when it flew
from Los Angeles to Washington DC in 64 Minutes ( One hour!!!!)
I feel at home and so Happy at the Air and Space exhibit in Los Angeles
THE USA MUST GO BACK TO THE MOON VERY SOON
Eric Lafayette February 19th 2015, L A
President Vladimir Putin is grabbing every piece of land he can at any cost disregarding international laws. In addition he constantly vilifies the USA and shows hatred for the USA and President Obama. President Putin is taking a page from the book of the Cold War and gathering around him all the malcontent leaders of developing countries who do not fit in the sphere of Democratic leaders but are dictators or respond to his promises of business and money.
The next land that Putin's going to grab to show that he is better and more powerful than the USA is the MOON and if he succeeds in claiming the Moon for Russia and its allies he will have the additional pleasure of humiliating the USA. He will be able to sing a song that will be listened to by many countries and the title is : "How pathetic the USA have become"
IF Putin's Russians Astronauts do not reach the Moon first due to recent economic problems and claim it for them then Chinese Astronauts will land on the Moon sooner than a New wave of Americans Astronaut could and will claim the Moon for China as China is investing enormously in her quest for the Moon
Remember the USA had Americans walk on the moon more than 45 years ago
Since then although NASA is one of America's most valuable assets, American strategy for exploring and conquering outer space has been a Unadequate.Today the situation is even worse because no one has been able to articulate strong plans and intelligent priorities for NASA.
Now is the time for President Barack Obama to put his intelligence and influence in the service of NASA. NASA needs to be more than a group of wonderfully talented engineers and well trained scientist astronauts having too many changing goals. It si time NOW to integrate the fact that Russia have a fervent patriotic approach that is lacking in the USA. It needs to be a purposeful and strategic organization focused on specific strategic goals. One reality is that the Moon could become a very crucial military base for Russia or China.
Without a revamped strategy for NASA the Moon after China or Russia lands on the Moon the USA may have to start a fight with China or Russia to be able to live on the Moon in addition of becoming a second rank nation that can be treated with contempt.
Some of NASA's programs such as lassoing an asteroid and landing a man on it seem not important when compared with protecting US interests on the Moon.Vladimír Putin must be delighted to see such a scattering of efforts going in so many directions at such a gigantic cost without resulting in boosting the leadership of the USA.
Think how devastating it would be for the American people to see Russian landing on the Moon and claiming it as Russian territory. If it is not Russia it will be China, both nations have increased enormously their space budget with the goal to land on the Moon.
REMEMBER: RUSSIAN GRABBED AND STOLE FROM UKRAINE THE CRIMEAN PENINSULA AT THE COST OF A WAR AND DESPITE A INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT ALLOCATING CRIMEA TO UKRAINE AND CHINA IS TRYING TO GRABB ISLANDS FROM JAPAN. GRABBING THE MOON FOR RUSSIA AND CHINA WILL BE VERY EASY WITHOUT THE COST OF A WAR.
If the US president does not step in and helpS NASA's leadership in a significant way, the first government of the Moon will be a Russian dictatorship or a Chinese dictatorship
The two most advanced Democratic entities in the world, the USA and Europe, are letting the Moon slip into the hands of dictators who will install military bases on the moon aimed at threatening the USA and Europe.
THE USA MUST LAND AND LIVE ON THE MOON BEFORE 2020 PREFERABLY IN 2018 AND OF COURSE NOT AFTER CHINA OR RUSSIA LANDED AND GRABBED THE MOON AS PART OF THEIR DICTATORSHIP. THE FIRST TERRITORY OUTSIDE THE EARTH OUR MOON DESERVE A DEMOCRACY NOT A DICTATORSHIP
Of course I have a plan for landing on the Moon in 2018
Addition October 7th 2015
NASA programs for going back to deep space is not progressing in a streamlined efficient way but as an entity progressing by hicups in a variety of directions. Let's reset the goals and this time the absolute imperative goal is Americans landing and establishing a permanent small colony with at least one American living on the Moon 24 hour a day without one second of interruption even if it means that the first American Residents on the Moon will be camping on the Moon going from one Camping Capsule to an other Camping Capsule that the US landed on the Moon in sufficient quantity. These capsules will be relatively light, relativelly small and allow living inside in a cramped space for days.This first landing of Americans on the Moon must happen MUCH MUCH SOONER that the predicted date of 2025. American landed on the Moon more than 45 years ago then Americans abandoned the Moon and now they Must land on the Moon before December 2020 or sooner to beat Russia or China appropriating the Moon for themselves and building military entities there and grabbing the Moon for their country. I am not exagerating when I write that China and Russia will grabbed the Moon for themselves and their friends.
Adding an extract of a previous article
As Early as September 7th 2007 I wrote an article on the necessity for the US of Landing on the Moon
FIFTH ACTION: LANDING ON THE MOON.
The USA is loosing its aura of invincibility and dominance and is being looked down on by many if not most of the world.
The USA is not a rock star or a giant as it was as recently before 2007.
This perception of weakness is detrimental to the USA on all fronts.
Solution: FIX IT ALL BY LANDING ON THE MOON AGAIN
Landing on the moon was a feat that only a mega-power like the USA could achieve more than 40 years ago July 20, 1969.
Landing on the moon again will frame the USA as a giant again, and it will make people now under the Islamic Fundamentalist yoke think about the strength of a democracy that interacts with a celestial object that controls theiralendars. In addition such a show of strength and demonstration of cutting edge science will send a message to ambitious and aggressive countries such as China and Russia. The message is: The USA is still the leader in scientific exploration and a Gentle giant way ahead of you.
It will also be a giant advertisement for American products no competitor can yet match.
Letting Russia or China which is the nation working the hardest at landing on the moon succeed in their landing on the Moon before the US returns on the Moon is pure folly
Funding: Already funded but on a wrong direction plus money from the Department of Defense.