Apollo’s Legacy is Keeping Us Grounded

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For the full, more eloquently written op-ed that includes a full source list, check out my latest blog at Discover: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/vintagespace/2019/07/20/apollos-legacy-is-keeping-us-grounded/#.XTM85i3MxTY

**Anticipating a huge backlash, I will probably not be looking at comments on this video. If gets extremely vitriolic, I will likely turn them off. And for everyone telling me it’s tacky to list credentials, try being a woman in science on the Internet, then tell me it’s not necessary…**

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  1. randyfosternashville

    One big Gemini bwoop for this presentation!! ;)

  2. Gus Fring

    Brilliant. Grand Slam, Amy!!!

  3. KX4 Gaming and Models

    Great to see some content from you Amy, it’s been way too long

  4. mark doppelgänger

    7:35 “If only you knew how bad things really are” ;-)
    Who else *heard it*?

  5. K1LG0RE

    8:20 “This was great for Kennedy, because if it all went well he could take credit. If it all failed, he could blame LBJ as the advisor.” Ah, politicians!

  6. Yaleling Oz

    I think you’re spot on. There seems to be a world wide problem of politicians being unwilling to invest in public goods (be they research or infrastructure) that won’t show political dividends in their terms of office. Unrealistic expectations and lack of funding sinks projects.

  7. MaxArceus

    With SpaceX and such existing now, I kind of think the pressure is back on to some degree at least.

  8. Mark Holiman

    How did I not ever hear about Kennedy trying to pull the plug very interesting fact thank you for all you do in keeping us informed.

  9. IAWFilmWorks

    I’d like to see you do a piece about the fuel choice for Apollo including Hydrogen peroxide for the Maneuvering thrusters.

  10. SCUBA Steve

    anyone else keep looking at their taskbar thinking they left ksp running lol

  11. matrix777able

    I am so glad to see you back with you tube 👍 and thank you for this video

  12. Chris M

    Great video! Thank you once again for so many fantastic videos! As a former NASA intern and long-time “cool” geek, I appreciate all that you’re doing in educating people about space and flight!

  13. ConsciousAtoms

    I’ve recently been thinking about “code debt”, a concept from software engineering. Code debt is basically that any shortcuts you take while writing your software means extra work in the future getting it right. In a sense, you are borrowing time from the future.
    This video has made me realize that Apollo did something similar, but in the field of spaceflight. Engineering debt, if you will. Apollo incurred a huge engineering debt on NASA after Apollo, and I think that this debt had to be paid back during the Space Shuttle era. Only now, with the dawn of commercial spaceflight has the USA fully paid off this debt, and that is the reason that it is only now that people are starting to gain commercially affordable access to space.
    One motto of the Apollo program was “waste everything but time”. With a motto like that, affordable space access is impossible.

  14. Marcus F

    Wow Amy, thanks for such a well researched, written and presented piece of work! Brilliant :)

  15. edthejester

    Great video! Subscribed! “Everything in space is trying to kill you” belongs on a tshirt for sure.
    What I would like to see happening is space based resource mining as a stepping stone to space based shipyards and permanent space stations that can serve as halfway stations.

  16. Tim Constable

    Excellent review of the situation. We also have a different generation, that gets more excited about the next X Factor winner than any major human goals.

  17. Martin Schyns

    Great perspective. I really appreciated that you went beyond the usual media one dimensional reporting. Keep up the great work. We desperately need more insightful understanding of our complex and frustrating world! Thx.

  18. Antonio Loma

    Amazing story! Lots of details that I’ve never heard before (JFK cancelling Apollo!). Thanks a lot for your research.

  19. J M

    Brilliant as always. And, I have that same Apollo 11 glass! And I have the Apollo 12 one as well.

  20. Brian Day

    I grew up with NASA, born in ’56. I vividly remember my dad and my uncle going outside just after dark to see Sputnik pass over. Not sure if that was even possible or not. I did learn something from you about Kennedy wanting to cancel Apollo. I agree about the unrealistic political agendas. NASA should call the shots for a long term goal, and work toward that end.

  21. nitestryker7

    Fantastic video Amy. I never knew that Kennedy tried to kill Apollo. That is indeed something I’d love to learn more about.

  22. MRI3421

    well Done. Where do I get the mug, glass and all your other swag

  23. Nicholas Gerken

    Ignore the haters, Amy…You rock!!! ❤

  24. Abhishek Tewari

    Could you please do a video on the Skylab Rescue mission?

  25. thom1218

    Back in March this year, great remastered IMAX footage of Apollo 11 was released in theaters in a showing called “Apollo 11”. I was expecting Amy to comment & review what turned out for me anyway to be a great experience, many others agreed! Surprised I haven’t seen even a mention on this channel…

  26. Wilfred Morin

    Thank you for the dates of the steps in space history. You broke it down to individual accomplishments.

  27. Don Bryson

    What about adding aeronautics to the STEM system, STEM-A? Kids are so excited about technology when it’s already been made by someone else, but if they had a course in schools that started them in the STEM program, and if they realized that the much of their future lies in space exploration, mining, astronomy, etc. get them pumped up by making it their program, not just politics and international competition.

  28. Argamis (SilverComet)

    00:00 Talks about NASA´s Apollo Missions. _”Kerbal Space Program”_ music on the background.

  29. Douglas Scroggs

    so glad you mentioned the jfk stuff, i knew the older generation of folks and they always yelled at the tv when it was mentioned about jkf sending man to the moon. great information

  30. Perry T

    Great Job as always Amy ….
    I don’t spend a lot of time in your comments section, but i don’t see any bad ones, I’m surprised you worry about it…
    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”… from our friend Albert.

  31. John Knaggs

    Great content! I just found vintage space last week and it has answered so many questions I’ve had about the early space program. Could you make video talking about the launch pad. Info on the towers,use, etc..(If you’ve already done this and I haven’t found it yet sorry) Thanks again and keep up the amazing content!!!

  32. wrightmf

    Good explanation about if we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we put a man on the moon. We will never get the urgency again like you said. If we want to return to the moon, for starters REMOVE the word “Mars” whenever we talk about going back to the moon. Whenever that red planet is mentioned, it makes any future moon program a non-starter. We saw it for SEI, VSE, ARM, and even for Artemis as everyone is advocating a “turn and burn” from the moon.
    Also note some have said many of your presentations have inaccuracies. But this one has good compilation of other material I read. Perhaps the idea of Kennedy wanting to cancel the Apollo program could be a stretch, I have read he was having doubts about Apollo. It is true it was Johnson who was able to enact many programs JFK could not. We also learned the “Camelot myth” was created after his assassination.
    I think why SpaceX is making progress is they don’t have the baggage of Apollo memories.
    I don’t know about humans on the moon when it will happen, there is a lot of activity of unmanned lunar landers and rovers including some from commercial companies (it is much easier to do this kind of stuff than 50 years ago). We should see some action for these small and low-cost landers.

  33. Robert Jeffers

    Personally I would love to see NASA transition more into a role of the FAA and become a regulation and advisory body, with the development of new technologies and their launch missions being inherited by privateers. Diversifying this number of players active in space flight provably will bring down costs and expand the creative pool and technologies for future missions. In addition to this new regulatory role, keeping and expanding programs like NASA’s three-stage grant program can help fund and steer these experimental ventures. I think the one-size-fits-all government agency is a too vulnerable to political winds and government largess. NASA had its day, now it needs to let the next generation take their place.

  34. Jay Bee

    Shoutout to the Shelby Foote Civil War set on the shelf there, Amy. Good job, BTW!

  35. AgPilot 497

    Others have referred to you citing your credentials. I have found that credentials don’t mean squat…
    I have met many idiots with post doc degrees and many very enlightened people with a high school diploma. If people want to bash without listening to a well researched, well written presentation, then they miss out on learning something.
    I listened and I learned. Keep up the great work Amy 👍

  36. Bernd Eckenfels

    What do you think about the theory that the Shuttle program ruined it much more? Expensive low Orbit program and no interplanetary projects. Even the ISS was more an watchtower than a space station.

  37. FandersonUfo

    Remember watching Neil step off the LEM 50 years ago. Such a hopeful moment for all mankind. We’ve had some problems since.

  38. JTK Awesome

    Ironic that Sen. LBJ pushed to create NASA, since Pres. LBJ started cutting NASA’s funding before Apollo 11. Then Jimmy Carter very nearly killed the Space Shuttle. The Democrat-controlled Congress of 1992 ended George HW Bush’s Space Exploration Initiative. President Barack Obama cancelled Constellation (after Candidate Obama vowed “not one penny would be cut”). Now the House Democrats are seeking to block funding for Artemis. It seems Democrats are the answer to the question of why America hasn’t surpassed its own past space accomplishments.

  39. Mike Penske

    Back in March this year, great remastered IMAX footage of Apollo 11 was released in theaters in a showing called “Apollo 11”. I was expecting Amy to comment & review what turned out for me anyway to be a great experience, many others agreed! Surprised I haven’t seen even a mention on this channel…

  40. Doc Huard

    I think you’re absolutely correct on your assessment of Apollo. The shuttle was a disaster for space exploration and the space station, as cool as it is and as important to science as it is, is also a disaster for exploration.
    We need to quit focusing on destinations and focus on the tools of exploration. We should be looking at propulsion for deep space that doesn’t depend on chemical reaction and can provide a 1g steady acceleration. With that, we can go anywhere!

  41. Tom Chai

    Yes I still want to leave my raging comment:

  42. Mike Love

    Always with the facts on history instead of the hearsay… thanks for a great lesson about Apollo, something I always assumed I knew “more than a little about”…. You’re awesome !

  43. Jupp Soetebier

    I have that same Apollo 11 glass! Oh and no rage from me. I’m with you. I get it.

  44. Mike Burnside

    I just want to know where I can get one of those Apollo XI glasses at! Lol. Great video.

  45. uploadJ

    Hey – I’ve got one of those Libbey drinking glasses commemorating Apollo 11 too!
    Plus, Apollo 13 … thanks to Mrs. Clara Blossom, a babysitter we had a looong time ago.

  46. Ryder Spearmann

    I assumed that JFKs death was what locked us into the moon landing, BUT I had not heard that JFK was already backing away.

  47. Kyle Clayton

    Excellent video. While I agree with basically everything you have said and laid out here, the problem is, modern society has literally been programmed for instant gratification. The biggest issue I see, would be somehow convincing an entire generation to work on something that they would not see results of their efforts for a very long time, potentially even in their lifetime. While I am super optimistic about the future of human space travel, I do tend to take the pessimistic views of Seth Shostak when he suggests how modern society would receive the discovery of alien life. It would be front page of the newspaper the day it was discovered, the headlines the next day would be the latest Kardashian scandal.

  48. Sten Rasmussen

    Hey Amy. A pro pos the NACA-emblem at 4:11. Love your historical details!
    Why not expand the scope a bit and write a book about the history of the
    first manned powered flight at the turn of the last century?

  49. Jeff Garbaas

    Joint u.s. Russian landing may have averted much of cold war

  50. Fun Fong

    Amy’s historical coverage of space flight has been good. It is ironic, that she has made her reputation and has garnered some expertise in knowing and understanding space flight history, but I don’t think she has the heart of a true space aficionado. If she did, she would be an enthusiastic promoter of space exploration.
    Our current contemporary world is the result of the technological consequences of the space race. Our amazing hand-held computers were borne from the IC chips of Apollo. As a child of that era, I felt the beneficial consequences first-hand. As a teen, I was an enthusiastic technology proponent, and after the accomplishments of Apollo, I was ready to exploit the advantages of this great leap of aerospace technology.
    We are again at a crossroads of space. Our technology is vastly improved. It has taken far less time to design new spacecraft to return to the Moon. Multiple entities are looking at Mars as a destination. We are looking at the Moon as a destination to stay. Why not try to go there, and see how the Moon’s resources and perspectives may continue to benefit Humankind.
    I have never really cared for Amy’s perspectives on what we should next do in space. Amy’s historical casting of events for her colored dark reasons may have a grain truth to them, but do not make them a full sin. The benefits of the race to space have benefited humankind in so many ways. I’m not sure that Amy appreciates that point.
    I fear that Amy’s views may be significantly tainted by ideology. I have enjoyed her historical documentaries, but her pontification on what we should do mystifies me. We have more resources, more technology now for space exploration. We have the lessons of the past to keep in mind as we move forward. Why not do it??
    Fortunately, the “Space Buff” market has many more players, and while they are not so nice looking, I truly appreciate their perspectives better, as they seem to be true space proponents. The larger market is better for ALL.

  51. Keven Ménard

    It’s like being in history class in high school but this time it’s actually interesting to me!
    Thanks for that awesome history lesson!

  52. Tim Goodall

    Loved the Apollo 11 movie – you?

  53. fumedrummer

    This was awesome. Thanks very much!

  54. liam collins

    Thank you, this was very eloquent

  55. Geoffrey Bawden

    Outstanding. You had me chomping at the bit to watch the video with your provocative lead. I had no idea that JFK was waffling on Apollo. Your opinion piece was thought provoking and well reasoned. I have no idea where the space program should go but it should grow a robust capacity step by step. Perhaps not relevant but I was surprised by my son’s numerous geology texts which undertook side by side comparisons and contrasts of geological features across the solar system, largest volcano anywhere, Olympus Mons, highly active Io volcanoes, solar quakes, earth quakes and on it goes. The geology of the solar system matter of fact presented across the range of his textbooks. These days Spacecraft seem to regularly rendezvous with asteroids and fly past Pluto and past objects at a distance beyond comprehension (Ultimate Thule .. how did they find it?) .. more science for compare and contrast and to show up in the next generation of textbooks. Amazing stuff. Keep up the great work .. very thought provoking.

  56. Cave Painter

    No need to show us your credentials. Your work stands on its own merits.

  57. Stardust - La Chaîne Air & Espace

    I totally agree with you. I would add that people are now so much angry when we say that kind of things, because they say we are pessimists. They believe in what they dream about (Mars colonies, terraformation etc). I also dream of great things, but they refuse to see what is the actual situation.

  58. Ray Watson

    You sound like you have been badly hurt by comments in the past by the really defensive comments in the opening part of this video.

  59. qdmc12

    Space travel is like a good, enlightening psychedelic trip, more people need to experience it. Otherwise, entire sects of flat-earthers may become our future norm. Those who don’t understand and thus fear it.

  60. Peter Bustin

    I sort of agree, but I think the Space Shuttle was a con. It only went to LEO, and it cost more to rebuild it after a mission than Boeing to build a new one ! Peter Bustin BSc

  61. Bob Stewart

    “I always knew I would see men land on the moon. I never dreamed we would leave and not go back for 40 years.”
    -Jerry Pournelle, author and aerospace worker

  62. Homer Riley

    Now that I’m enraged, what do we get? …a well thought out and presented argument?!?! Great lol
    I would counter with seemingly growing number of conspiracy minded people these days. We should continue moving forward if for no reason other than saving ourselves from a slow (intellectual) death of standing still. There will always be a segment of the population crying out that there are better things for our leaders to spend on but add up what we have gained as a result and weigh it against what we are gaining standing still. I’m kidding by saying that in another fifty years we will be performing exorcisms to treat epilepsy. At least I hope lol

  63. V 14

    One could say, with a good deal of cynicism, that the Apollo program was created by a politician who couldn’t care less about space and who employed a Nazi officer to build him a giant rocket to beat the darn Ruskies who in turn couldn’t have launched Sputnik or Gagarin without the help of two thousand imprisoned german rocket scientists. So hail to the Germans!
    Or one could say, in a fit of romantic enthusiasm, that the program produced the most beautiful and powerful Saturn rocket, Apollo spacecraft and the Lunar Module, technologies and know-hows and showed us the way to space, how to push boundaries with determination and bravery, and will continue to inspire many generations to come.
    Or one could say, with a pinch of realism, that despite the significance and achievements of the Apollo program, it did in fact create an enormous industrial base that almost immediately became a liability of having to keep thousands employed and created an everlasting political climate of Congress-run employment scheme with no goals, no purpose and no human spaceflight.
    History is never black or white particularly when it involves us, humans, who tend to make things pretty messy, but occasionally get things right albeit for the wrong reasons (and voce versa).
    Happy 50th Apollo anniversary!

  64. De Wood

    Did Armstrong and Aldrin help other Apollo missions? Work with others on walking on the moon?

  65. Swervin309

    Amy, the people who would rage quit this video before it even started aren’t intellectually competent enough to grasp the material therein. Keep up the awesome work! ❤️
    P. S. I fangirled a little when I saw you on NASA’s Unexplained Files.

  66. Carolina Sky Astronomy

    Okay here is my raging rant…. YOU ARE THE MOST AWESOME SPACE NERD EVER!!! I love your videos so keep them coming

  67. William Runner

    I’m impressed with your knowledge of the Apollo program. Very nice!

  68. Neurofied Yamato

    Once China make a moon base, US is going to ramp up its programs :P

  69. Guy H.

    Okay Amy, here’s my raging comments:
    Rage! Rage! Rage! Rage!
    Comment! Comment! Comment!
    So there’s my Raging
    Comment! Ha ha ha… Love your videos, very well thought out and presented.

  70. Larry M.

    The “speed of apollo” was 50 years ago and obviously was a successful program in spite of the assinine civil unrest alongwith the absurdity of Vietnam for the sake of padding politcal pockets. If we’ve had any failures since its been the space shuttle and where NASA is currently.

  71. Johnny Wednesday

    You make a convincing argument! thank you for sharing you passion and knowledge with us – it’s very much appreciated.

  72. Tony

    WOW. I just love learning REAL history and NOT someone’s narrative of history. The FACTS, not the SPIN. Your points about Kennedy’s motivation for Apollo and his desire to cancel it were eye-opening. Thank you.

  73. Stephan Brun

    Knew it! The man on the Grassy Knoll was a NASA guy! :D

  74. Bret Stauffer

    We do have a communist adversary: China.

  75. Therein lies your first problem

    It’s sad, at this point, that she has to explain her credentials. Breaking the Chains of Gravity was genius! You are golden Amy!

  76. Louis Marconi

    …built my LEGO’s Saturn V in recognition of the anniversary !!

  77. kevino25701

    Cost and lack of competition is keeping us grounded. It’s that simple.

  78. Tiffany May

    Makes u wonder if Kennedy was killed BECAUSE he was wanting to stop the Apollo program hmmm ..just a thought..I’m an Aussie btw

  79. MrGchiasson

    You are correct t. Apollo had one goal…beat the Russians to the moon. After the was accomp!ished, Congress cut funds across the board. Apollo was amazing and also a dead-end project. The facts are obvious. Now…civilian efforts have accelerated every aspect of a new space exploration & very soon..lunar bases & colonies. Great video.

  80. telepater

    Just wait until the Chinese land on the moon…. Congress will be falling over itself to fund space flight….

  81. zooblestyx

    I don’t care. The Rice address still gives me goosebumps. Every time.

  82. Jason A. Gregg

    Yes it was a race and calling it a “crash” program is also fair but Apollo made sense for more than just political reasons. Humans needed to go to the moon fifty years ago, and we’re just lucky that it all went pretty smoothly.

  83. keeblerelf6786

    Thank you for your well though out video. I always look forward to the next one!

  84. Perry Ramsey

    Thanks, Amy, this needed to be said. Apollo was a once in a species lifetime event, which can never be repeated. The unique combination of geopolitical factors and being the first ever to leave the planet made for a level of support and a sense of purpose that will never happen again. People worked themselves senseless to make it happen. No one is willing to do that again, even if Congress were willing to shovel truckloads of money at them. And it isn’t.
    Ego-maniacal politicians imagine themselves able re-create the same buzz, so in the hopes that they will be canonized like John Kennedy. But it isn’t going to happen, even if they get lucky enough to be assassinated.
    You make another very important and so often overlooked point: it didn’t start from nothing in May 1961. One key component was the F-1 engine, which had been started several years before by the Air Force, who just Rocketdyne to build the biggest thing they could. Liquid ICBMs turned out to be a dead end, but it turned out to be just what NASA needed.
    Crash programs lead to wasteful spending and economically inefficient hardware and infrastructure. The Saturn V was too expensive to fly because it was built without regard to sustainable operating cost.. LC-39 was vastly more expensive than it needed to be to support the actual launch rate because it was designed to meet fanciful launch rates. That was recognized as early as 1964, but in the rush to the moon it was built anyway. Other massive investments in infrastructure went to waste. Take a drive past Rockwell Downey or Rocketdyne Canoga Park. Good luck, they’re not there anymore. Or the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, where the J2 engine testing took place. You can sign up to take a tour, but don’t expect to see anything that is getting anyone to the moon: everything is gone, it’s now a wildlife refuge. Douglas Huntington Beach isn’t totally a pile of rubble, but large swaths of it are. All this paid for by the taxpayers, now gone, not producing what it was built to produce. Colossal wastes, all of them, now producing zero return on investment.
    And, your article is not on the Discovery site. Please don’t tell me that they pulled it down because it was “controversial.”

  85. ItsChrizz

    nice Kerbal Space Program music. It reminds me of me building a rocket lol

  86. Tim Goodall

    Hi Amy – love your work! I was just wondering if you could explain the brief ‘cloud’ that surrounded the Saturn V rocket as it powers through the atmosphere?

  87. David DeClue

    Brilliant! I have to buy your books, I’m 60, father EE MIT 1951, holder of patents in TDL
    I watched GEMINI as a small kid, even saw the capsules on USS Wasp
    Your synopsis is almost perfect!

  88. RazY70

    Everything is accurate from a historical perspective except for the clickbait title. Apollo’s legacy is not what’s keeping us grounded. Apollo’s legacy is what’s keeping us inspired and hopeful, knowing full well that with the right incentive humanity can overcome incredible hurdles and achieve amazing deeds.

  89. Orie Pierce

    Johnson was corrupt scheming bastard. They put concrete over his grave because the ground kept puking him up.

  90. DarthMerlin

    I was a little skeptical when you were showing all of your credentials, but once you brought out the Apollo drinking glass, I was convinced.

  91. Old Guy Does Stuff

    Thank you for this look at the space program of the 60’s. I lived through it as a kid, with a father who was involved in getting us to the moon. (He dealt with the initial launch – getting from the ground to earth orbit.) You always seem to bring back some of my childhood memories. I look forward to every video.

  92. Carlos Martinez

    Great episode Amy. Your commentary on the legacy of the Apollo program is fantastic and your vision on future space objectives is sensible. Thank you for all your hard work on your channel.

  93. DenseAlloy

    R.I.P. Chris Kraft, you were an anchor for so many missions..Thank you for your service and wisdom.

  94. Stan Lee

    The trouble is that humans don’t live very long (relatively), and people like to see cool accomplishments completed in their lifetimes…

  95. Dale Pomraning

    first Time I heard JFK wanted to cancel APOLLO interesting fact!

  96. mkc1rrc

    Acknowledging the idiots leaving idiotic comments is not necessary. Best to ignore. Otherwise…keep looking up!

  97. Douglas Wegener

    You seem so young but damn you are so brilliant. I love your passion for space and science it’s refreshing. Great job on your videos. I’ve seen you on TV but first time Youtuber. You got a subscriber for life.
    Mad respect good energy positive vibes to all you do.

  98. IcantSignIn

    20:27 The very first thing Neil did on the surface is quickly grab a “contingency scoop” full of dirt and bag it up in case something went wrong and they had to leave.

  99. YewTewbe

    The subtle soundtrack was great! A really well produced video, thank you. PS. Stop acknowledging the haters of your videos. They’re morons.

  100. TRM Industries.

    “Everything in space is trying to kill you” Best to send some Aussies up then. Pretty experienced in the everything trying kill you field.

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