Not too long ago I was vaguely and wistfully lamenting the extinction of the Sears Wishbook. The annual catalog Generation X would pour over at Christmas time.
Then this came in the mail.
Yes, it’s from Amazon.
An Amazon print wishbook catalog. That is just weird and wrong.
I saw a trailer for Apple TV’s new made for Apple TV’s series. It starts out with an image of the Soviet LK lander….
…on the moon in 1968 (I think) beating out Apollo 11. And sending America into a new Sputnik panic.
Now this was a real project during the 1960s. We tended to drastically over estimate the sophistication of Soviet technology. Their manned program in the fifties and sixties could be summed up as a terrified guy taped to the top of a roman candle. Their Lunar mission wasn’t much different.
The mission profile called for the N-1 superbooster to launch the LK Lander into a lunar orbit. Then a Soyuz capsule would be launched from Earth on another N-1 with enough fuel to get to Lunar orbit. Once Soyuz made rendezvous with the LK, a single Cosmonaut was to make a space walk over to the LK, get in and take it down to the moon. In case you are wondering, the Russians couldn’t get docking to work back then.
Yeah, it pretty much was a suicide mission. The reason they never did it was that the N-1 repeatedly failed catastrophically. The Soviets couldn’t build anything like the Saturn V’s F-1 engine, so the N-1 rocket used thirty small engines. The more things there are, the more things can go wrong. Although it mostly the gimbaling that caused the failures. The watch currently on my wrist has about ten thousand times the computing power of the Saturn V let alone the N-1.
Anyway, when I saw the Soviet flag on the moon, I became very excited. Oh wow! I thought this is going to be about a race to Mars in the 1970s. We will get to see NERVA rockets and maybe the original space shuttle design and super stations. This might be great I thought…
…And then I saw the rest of the trailer.
I was hoping that Batwoman would continue to make me laugh.
It hasn’t disappointed yet.
Okay, I’m done here.