NASA's moon landing remembered today as a promise of a 'future which never happened'

Oct 04, 2013
NASA's moon landing remembered today as a promise of a 'future which never happened'
This is Professor Martin Parker of the University of Leicester School of Management. Credit: University of Leicester

NASA's footage of the first moon landing promised a future of sci-fi heroism that never came to pass, according to a new study.

The paper, by Professor Steve Brown and Professor Martin Parker, of the University of Leicester's School of Management, and Dr Lewis Goodings, of the University of Roehampton, is published in the International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy.

The first moon landing is overwhelmingly remembered as an exciting and important turning point in world history, which continues to inspire exploration projects to Mars and beyond today.

However, the new study shows how NASA used images of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing to develop a narrative of its own importance for the .

The academics claim NASA carefully selected footage to present Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts as pioneering "cowboys" supported by "technological efficiency".

NASA's shots of the astronauts walking purposefully towards the launch bay – repeated regularly in TV coverage of the landing – were carefully crafted to mimic the slow walk of Cowboys in the cinematic tradition of Westerns, they argue.

The academics compare NASA's claim to historical importance with organisations like Walt Disney Productions and Pan American World Airways.

They also note how often the images were repeated in media – which "premeditated" the idea that the moon landing represented the future.

They contrast this with people's ideas today about how space travel actually progressed in the latter half of the 20th century – which saw only five further manned moon landings, ending in 1972.

The academics analysed more than 400 "memory cards" left by visitors to the National Space Centre – which contained people's recollections of the moon landing and the 1960s.

They found around half of the visitors' accounts contained included a reference to the moon landing as a glimpse into a future which never came true.

Professor Martin Parker, Professor of Organisation and Culture in the University of Leicester's School of Management, said: "I have always been fascinated by science fiction and space travel. When I saw the moon landing in 1969, I had the idea that the future was going to be radically different – but it was a future that never happened."

Professor Parker said that in order to guarantee that it kept getting money from Congress, NASA worked very hard to from the 1960s onwards to develop the story of its importance for the future.

"The cards at the National Space Centre are very poignant. Lots of people will be able to say exactly where they were when they saw Neil Armstrong land on the Moon. It became part of the narrative of your life.

"But the notions of progress which were common in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s are now no longer as universally accepted. I don't think anyone believes that things only move forward for the better anymore."

Dr Lewis Goodings said: "This research highlights the intersections between our personal experiences of the event and the particular version of the past that is given to us through the media and other sources.

"I recall that one memory card recalled the moon landing as 'a really exciting event that seemed to open an exciting and modern era' and then added that this era was 'so quickly lost'.

"I feel that is a good example of the coming together of the NASA-inspired image of the and the actual experience of very little changing - 'so quickly lost'. It is here in this personal response where we find that the image of never came true."

Malika Andress, Head of Marketing at the National Space Centre, said: "The memory cards that our visitors have been sharing with us have been a great way to capture a unique insight into an important point in our social history.

"To understand that moment when children were excited to be woken from their sleep and sit in front of a grainy image to see something they would never forget. The Apollo astronauts were pioneers and to this day we strive as a people to achieve bigger and better things.

"Nowhere could this be more so than in . Today we look to Mars and beyond, new nations enter the race for the next goals in space and we see a collaboration of countries that once competed, all for the betterment of our tiny planet."

Response from Professor George Fraser- Director of the University of Leicester Space Research Centre

I was one of the generation inspired by Apollo (the Apollo 11 landing was two days before my 13th birthday) and now I am privileged to be one of 11 principal investigators (experiment leaders) for a spacecraft going to Mercury.

So for me, the hopes of that time did come true.

It is abundantly plain that Apollo was a historic anomaly, which could not be sustained economically then and could hardly be repeated now. But NASA, if it is to be criticised for not colonising Mars, should be praised for giving us a view of the solar system so comprehensive that is dull by comparison, all in less than 50 years.

As for the gunfighter walk down the gantry…
These were mostly test pilots
They knew the odds
Two years before Apollo 11, the crew of Apollo 1 had made the same walk, and had burned to death.
Yet still these men took those steps.
And that was not image, but courage.

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

More information: The full paper, titled "Organizing images of futures-past: Remembering the Apollo Moon Landings", can be found here: www.academia.edu/3776029/Organ… Apollo_Moon_Landings

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Milou
1.2 / 5 (23) Oct 04, 2013
Then and now I never though astronauts were anything special. Humans like any one of us and probably dumber because they could not be creative, outside the box. Their box were strictly adhere into a capsule. Good or bad, "who cares". This cowboy stuff is really ridiculous. Any human could have walked better on the moon. Let's hope we get rid of this perception in our future quest for space.
Miles_OToole
4.8 / 5 (11) Oct 04, 2013
Says the internet cowboy, sitting safely behind his keyboard.
shavera
5 / 5 (13) Oct 04, 2013
Yeah I mean it's not like astronauts were also top of their class pilots or engineers or anything, or when things went wrong on Apollo 13 navigated by the stars themselves...
VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (14) Oct 04, 2013
It is sad that Republicans have worked for so long to destroy NASA.
Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (14) Oct 04, 2013
NASA, the Space Scuttle, and ISS Blackhole-1 cost us the Super Conducting Super Collider, exchanged for an obsolescent technology demonstrator. Once the Moon was achieved the dream was over and out corrupted by socialism.

There is not a spit of difference among the Repugnicans, Demoncraps and Liebraltarians, progressives all. Only The Constitution Party represents conservative America's Country Class against the progressive Ruling Party.
JohnGee
1.8 / 5 (14) Oct 04, 2013
The Constitution Party are literal fascists. Look it up. You're a clown Doug.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (7) Oct 04, 2013
"Only The Constitution Party represents conservative America's Country Class against the progressive Ruling Party." - Doug_Huffman

Have you been a fascist all your life or was it first in your dreams and then finally realized?
Matthewwa25
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 04, 2013
I can't stand reading the anti-science republicans whine about how much they hate science and advancement of our nation. Truly sad how such people can have such distain for everything that makes this nation special.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (14) Oct 04, 2013
The Apollo program was a national defense project to develop heavy lift boosters and the controls to put a nuclear weapon anywhere in the world.
The father of a Rocket City Redneck was a machinist at Wyle in Huntsville in the 60s. They were all concerned about Soviet spies.
As it turns out, the Soviets did steal the plans for their shuttle from NASA. But they couldn't steal it all.
Either NASA doesn't know how to innovate anymore, or the Apollo design was so good they decided to enhance the system for a return to the moon.
Now that entrepreneurs are creating launch vehicles, they will likely be the first back to the moon before NASA.
BTW, for all you astronomers, image the data a large radio, or optical, telescope on the dark side of the moon could collect. But you will need people to construct and operate such a device.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (7) Oct 04, 2013
Republicans are what you get when political ideology trumps reality.

They are a cancer that is destroying America.
Sinister1811
2.1 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2013
They went to the moon once, and never went back. Apparently, the hotel they stayed at was only a 2 star.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (12) Oct 05, 2013
Where's my flying car?
Sinister1811
2.1 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2013
They went to the moon once, and never went back. Apparently, the hotel they stayed at was only a 2 star.


Not to mention the restaurant was a bit dusty.
VendicarE
2.4 / 5 (5) Oct 05, 2013
"Where's my flying car?" - Can'tDriveTooStupid

Right where you left it. Just behind your chin and in front of intestinal polyp #1.
Gigel
5 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2013
They went to the moon once, and never went back. Apparently, the hotel they stayed at was only a 2 star.

They went to the Moon about 6 times. Though it's true they went there only once for the first time...
Humpty
1.6 / 5 (13) Oct 05, 2013
The moon shot is much like the money shot.

One huge head job and then what?

OK - so we landed a lander on a virtually airless rock, far out in space.

IN one sense, it was a HUGE achievement... truly remarkable.

But the practical realities are that it's like driving 20,000 miles round trip for a coke and a burger.

The real issue is that there is NO good reason to do that as a daily shopping run.

It's a LONG way to go. It's tremendously expensive. There is fuck all to do there when you do get there.

And unless it's a dedicated multi - multi billion dollar investment, your not going to be bringing back anything more than a few hundred Kg of rocks and shit, on a 3 day stay over - while risking your arse on a few thousand tons of high explosive.

Unless it's HIGH grade / large scale mining (expensive) on the moon (ultra expensive), freighting back staggering amounts of scarce material (e.g. Helium 3, platinum etc.) - (blindingly expensive) - it's just not going to happen.
Sinister1811
1.9 / 5 (14) Oct 05, 2013
And setting up a permanent colony there is even more of a long shot. No air, water, food, protection from radiation, temperature etc. It's the same thing with Mars, really. It'd be easier building a city in Antarctica or the Sahara.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2013
Can you imagine how far the space program would be if instead of to the military the money had gone to funding space exploration (or just 10% of what has gone to the military since)?
It boggles the mind.

(To give you an idea: the NASA annual budget, in 2007 adjusted dollars, Has been at between 16 and 33 billion dollars. The military spening, again in adjusted dollars, has hovered around 400 to 700 billion dollars per year.)
alfie_null
4 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2013
Either NASA doesn't know how to innovate anymore, or the Apollo design was so good they decided to enhance the system for a return to the moon.

NASA serves at the direction of the president. Subject to the whims of the electorate. If you were around in the '60s, you know full well how different things were then. Blaming NASA's lack of direction on NASA is disingenuous.
Now that entrepreneurs are creating launch vehicles, they will likely be the first back to the moon before NASA.

Who's planning on visiting the Moon? They're all working on LEO vehicles.
BTW, for all you astronomers, image the data a large radio, or optical, telescope on the dark side of the moon could collect. But you will need people to construct and operate such a device.

Or, as many would prefer, clever robots.
Mayday
5 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2013
Circumstances have provided mankind a great gift quite nearby. Imagine exploration of the deep lunar caverns. Several large subsurface voids have been detected. Conditions there would be very different than on the surface. Develop an army of relatively simple robots and set them to the task. I imagine discoveries waiting to boggle the mind.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (12) Oct 05, 2013
Where's my flying car?

The govt won't let you have one.
But here is one: http://www.terrafugia.com/
Can you imagine how far the space program would be if instead of to the military the money had gone to funding space exploration


The EU doesn't spend money on defense, why haven't they spent more on space exploration?
Eikka
2.4 / 5 (14) Oct 05, 2013
The EU doesn't spend money on defense, why haven't they spent more on space exploration?


Because the EU is not a single entity that has a single space budget.

The ESA is mostly run by the French, because they own the launch site in Kourou. It's composed of a collection of countries that each pay a membership fee to it, instead of being paid and budgeted out of taxes.

ESA's budget is about 3 billion euros a year, compared to NASA's 17 billion dollars, because they run on what is practically voluntary contributions by the member countries instead of top-down forced budget like the US does.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (14) Oct 05, 2013
top-down forced budget like the US does.

Don't know much about the USA do you.
Eikka
1.8 / 5 (12) Oct 05, 2013
Don't know much about the USA do you.


NASA is a US government agency that is subject to the Congress in every detail. The main use of NASA to Congress is to shovel money into the private aerospace sector.

ESA on the other hand is an independent organization that exists besides, or rather, despite the bulk of the EU bureaucratic machine.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (13) Oct 05, 2013
Don't know much about the USA do you.


NASA is a US government agency that is subject to the Congress in every detail. The main use of NASA to Congress is to shovel money into the private aerospace sector.

ESA on the other hand is an independent organization that exists besides, or rather, despite the bulk of the EU bureaucratic machine.

Don't know much about the USA do you.
Sanescience
1.7 / 5 (12) Oct 05, 2013
I hope some day soon there is going to be an effective regional locality filter so I don't have to scroll past all the off topic Euro/Asia attempts at US psychological sabotage. 99% of Americans respect differences amongst ourselves and accept that political disagreements and certain amounts of dysfunction is far better to have than what Euro/Asia has gone through for most of human history.

That said. NASA went to the Moon. It was super impressive but doing it with vacuum tubes and canvas fabric just wasn't how it needed to happen. Now the US is in a situation where two fully private companies are launching into orbit and docking with the ISS. The rest of the world knows full well that they are being left behind.
Shootist
1.4 / 5 (12) Oct 05, 2013
NASA's moon landing remembered today as a promise of a 'future which never happened'


Boy, you got that right.

Bureaucrats and politicians. $2 billion a year whether the Failed Shuttle flew or not. Bastards didn't even listen to Feynman: A pox on them, and their descendants, until the end of time.
philw1776
1.2 / 5 (11) Oct 05, 2013
NASA's manned spaceflight program is a congressional district jobs for re-election votes program, not a space program.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (7) Oct 05, 2013
Can you imagine how far the space program would be if instead of to the military the money had gone to funding space exploration (or just 10% of what has gone to the military since)?
Recon is a military endeavor. NASA is primarily a military agency.

If we had gutted our military budgets since the 50s there wouldnt be any money left anyway as the soviets would have overrun europe and we would have had to invade normandy all over again. As well as central and south america, south africa, southeast asia, etcetc.
It boggles the mind
-Your insipid myopia turns the stomach.

"Professor Martin Parker, Professor of Organisation and Culture" -WTF is a 'Professor of Organisation and Culture'?

"I don't think anyone believes that things only move forward for the better anymore." -Ah. A Prof. of O&C is someone like antialiens who has no understanding of how the world works. 'Lets launch a fleet to mars without the necessary tech, while the enemy destroys us here on earth.'
Shakescene21
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2013
I remember the 1960s space effort as a boy, when I wanted to be an astronaut. I was thrilled with every achievement and exhillarated with the first moon walk.

However, people here may not realize the pessimistic social/political background of 1969: the Vietnam War, racial turmoil, student riots, drugs, counterculture. The glorious optimism that launched the space effort was dissipating and the lunar program did not seem "relevant". I remember a 60s protest song that went:
"We can send a man a million miles in space,
But when he gets back down it's the same old place"

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (11) Oct 05, 2013
NASA's manned spaceflight program is a congressional district jobs for re-election votes program, not a space program.

Must be from a proponent of unmanned programs.
That has always been the fight in NASA. Manned programs get the most money and attention while the unmanned programs get the hind teat.
Mayday
not rated yet Oct 06, 2013
The system directing money for something as visible as manned space flight responds to perceived need. Once upon a time we believed we needed to go to the Moon to force the Russians to spend the money. Today there is no perceived need for such an effort. And I'm not convinced that an HD image of a Chinese spaceman standing on Mars will change that perception where it matters. It appears the current budgetary mechanisms are built around funding wars, which they do very well on a global scale. If no wars reach into space, I'm afraid we will not reach into space.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (5) Oct 06, 2013
If no wars reach into space
Space is the high ground. There is no greater threat than an enemy in space with the ability to attack ground targets with impunity.

Which is why the president has directed NASA to forego manned missions to the moon and mars and focus it's efforts on asteroids and the Martian moons. Mastering the control of space rocks FIRST will ensure that this ability will not be used against us.

This was the same sort of peril the world was in at the beginning of the nuclear age, and we can appreciate the massive effort it took to gain a decisive hand. And only now, as third-tier nations threaten to create their own nukes, can we appreciate how vital this effort was.

The same scale of effort will be made to secure the inner system as soon as it becomes possible. Failure to do so will mean the inevitable destruction of civilization by those who believe that their ideology demands extinction of all who disagree with them.

Just like we do.
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (12) Oct 06, 2013
Where's my flying car?

The govt won't let you have one.
But here is one: http://www.terrafugia.com/

Yeah, that's great and all. But I was hoping for cars without wings, like on the 'Jetsons'.
http://paleofutur...12621222
I especially like the mother-in-law model.
Humpty
1 / 5 (11) Oct 06, 2013
"Circumstances have provided mankind a great gift quite nearby. Imagine exploration of the deep lunar caverns. Several large subsurface voids have been detected. Conditions there would be very different than on the surface. Develop an army of relatively simple robots and set them to the task. I imagine discoveries waiting to boggle the mind."

Yes - huge black caverns, on a big rock, way out in space, with no air.... great.

It's blacker on the inside than on the outside.

My mind just boggled.
Roj
not rated yet Oct 07, 2013
"The moon is a very lonely and desolate place"
Buzz Aldrin

When local resources in space become exploitable they will be exploited.
Taxpayers have, and always will, pay for such exploits wherever possible.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 07, 2013
"However, while an astronaut wandering around on the Martian surface in a NASA spacesuit may be a distant dream, the United States still has an ace in the hole-a driven young billionaire named Elon Musk.

The leader, not only of SpaceX, but also the meteorically rising Tesla Motors and creator of PayPal, made his intentions known when he said he wants his company to push towards human missions to Mars, not least because he wants to go himself.

Citing his ambition in helping humanity become a multi-planetary species, Musk, backed by his growing company and large pools of cash, is highly likely to beat NASA to Mars,'
http://www.nasasp...on-mars/

So why do the socialists want to confiscate all the wealth from the rich? If not for the rich Musk, Paul Allen, Richard Branson and others, there would be no private space program.
Neinsense99
1 / 5 (3) Oct 11, 2013
The Constitution Party are literal fascists. Look it up. You're a clown Doug.

It seems to ignore that little part of the constitution about the separation of church and state. From the Wikipedia page:
"The Constitution Party advocates a platform which it says aims to reflect the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bible, and the Bill of Rights. Its website states that "The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries."[11] This has led to its being described as a theocratic party, as was its predecessor.[12][13]
Neinsense99
1 / 5 (4) Oct 11, 2013
I hope some day soon there is going to be an effective regional locality filter so I don't have to scroll past all the off topic Euro/Asia attempts at US psychological sabotage. 99% of Americans respect differences amongst ourselves and accept that political disagreements and certain amounts of dysfunction is far better to have than what Euro/Asia has gone through for most of human history.

That said. NASA went to the Moon. It was super impressive but doing it with vacuum tubes and canvas fabric just wasn't how it needed to happen. Now the US is in a situation where two fully private companies are launching into orbit and docking with the ISS. The rest of the world knows full well that they are being left behind.

It isn't very clear whether you mean that NASA is being left behind or the rest of the world is being left behind. FYI, Japan just launch a new, cheaper rocket.
Neinsense99
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 11, 2013
I can't stand reading the anti-science republicans whine about how much they hate science and advancement of our nation. Truly sad how such people can have such distain for everything that makes this nation special.

Another thing that makes it special is the tendency to rewrite history to diminish the contribution of other nations in science, exploration and major wars. (FYI, you probably hit s instead of d when you were trying to type disdain. Easy typo.)
Neinsense99
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 11, 2013
The system directing money for something as visible as manned space flight responds to perceived need. Once upon a time we believed we needed to go to the Moon to force the Russians to spend the money. Today there is no perceived need for such an effort. And I'm not convinced that an HD image of a Chinese spaceman standing on Mars will change that perception where it matters. It appears the current budgetary mechanisms are built around funding wars, which they do very well on a global scale. If no wars reach into space, I'm afraid we will not reach into space.

Wars have reached into space perhaps since the V2, certainly since the first communication and photo recon satellites were launched, even more certainly since GPS became common for navigation.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (9) Oct 11, 2013
"China last week conducted a test of a maneuvering satellite that captured another satellite in space during what Pentagon officials say was a significant step forward for Beijing's space warfare program.

The satellite capture took place last week and involved one of three small satellites fitted with a mechanical arm that were launched July 20 as part of a covert anti-satellite weapons development program, said U.S. officials familiar with reports of the test."
http://freebeacon...weapons/
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Oct 17, 2013
"Pentagon officials say was a significant step forward for Beijing's space warfare program." - RyggTard

RyggTard and his RepubllaTard thugs in crime are already cowering in fear. That is how the Military Industrial Commplex keeps them in the pens and content at being milked.
Neinsense99
1 / 5 (2) Oct 17, 2013
The moon shot is much like the money shot.

One huge head job and then what?
...

We don't need to know everything you do with your Internet access.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 18, 2013
Once upon a time we believed we needed to go to the Moon to force the Russians to spend the money.


That's a post-hoc rationalization around the myth that the US drove the Soviets to bankcruptcy.

Actually, the moon program was an economic stimulus program that was sold as simple one-upmanship. The original threat about the space race was that the Soviets could put a nuclear weapon in space before the US could, so the US had to prove that they were up to the same standards if they tried anything funny.

But after the first manned flights, controlled orbits, docking etc. basic stuff that proved the concept, there wasn't really anything left to do. Yet there was this budding branch coming out from the aerospace and weapons industries, who had lobbyists in high places and no intention to stop doing what they do best, which is to make money.

So the subsequent moon programs were simply to take money from A and give it to B, and the byproduct was that people walked on the moon.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Oct 18, 2013
So why did the soviets spend all that time and money to maintain a manned presence in orbit? Why was their first space station equipped with an anti-Gemini capsule cannon? Was this only to redistribute rubles?

Operating in space is a matter of survival for the species. We have only recently realized that the universe is a very dangerous place.

Space travel is important enough to stage a mock cold war for the purpose of spending the billions necessary to develop the hardware and create the 1000s of tons of fissile material we now possess which makes a permanent presence in space possible. This includes the ability to travel to distant bodies and do work there.

You think there was a money conspiracy but this doesn't explain why the soviets applied the same amount of effort with a much larger percentage of a dying economy. A survival conspiracy does explain this.

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