Celebrate “Brute Force”

(original post from 080608 updated on 221121)

Remember?  “a brute and awkward force.” – that’s what Townsend Brown called rocket propulsion.

In Chapter 7:

According to Kitselman, young Thomas Brown looked to the heavens, dreamed of traveling among the stars – and pondered the means of propulsion by which that might be accomplished. He dismissed rocket power as “a brute and awkward force,” and wondered if electricity could shrink the distance between the stars more efficiently than the controlled explosion of combustible gasses. 

Back in 2008, The Discovery Channel aired a documentary series observing the 50th Anniversary of NASA:

When We Left Earth is the story of mankind’s greatest adventure, leaving the earth and living in space. For the first time this series has digitally re-mastered the original film and audio recordings from NASA’s vault, including and all the key on-board footage filmed by the astronauts themselves. From John Glenn’s Mercury mission to orbit the earth, to Neil Armstrong’s first historic steps on the moon, to the unprecedented spacewalks required to repair the Hubble telescope, these epic stories are shown in stunning clarity and told by the astronauts and engineers who were there.

Hard to believe it’s been fifty years (60+ now)…. and still, the best the can come up with is rockets?

Yes it seems we’re “still trying to overcome gravity with the same force the cavemen used to barbecue their wildebeests (aka ‘fire’).”

The original series is no longer available at the Discovery Channel site. Some segments can be found on YouTube (was that even a thing in 2008)

The entire series is also available in DVD and Blu-Ray and streams from services such as Amazon Prime.

One reviewer on YouTube called it “Hands down the greatest documentary series ever created.”


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