Is the F-35 a "moon shot"? Many years ago as a 17 year old I worked on a ranch in Montana with only having a radio to listen of the world. That summer in 1969 there came the Chappaquiddick incident with the Kennedy's and then a successful moon shot. Man finally discovered there was no air on the moon and its gravity was the real deal, when having only a small token of earth's gravity. Those were the golden years of youth. Riding horseback every day and hitching up the draft mules for another run at the hay fields.
|Gordon Ranch Montana. Barn where Maude and Ginny the mules lived. Road where the wolf stood.|
Man went to the moon, and a politician swam the swamp saying, "it wasn't me". Americans bit the story line and I went swimming on the lake "next door". It was living in a real wilderness with grizzly bears, cougars, and wolves, even though they weren't supposed to be any wolves in Montana in 1969. They were there and I saw one every morning at 6: AM when hitching up the mules just down the trail from the barn.
Now comes the F-35, a Lockheed version of NASA's "Moon Shot". It cost hundreds of billions and it glitches as often as Apollo 13 did in its Journey around the moon during April 1970. The fighter discovers air and gravity are a real threat to its mission. The F-35 will use a vast array of new terminology like "fusion", "stealth" and "fifth Generation". It will become the foremost defense expenditure flying as a "fifth generation fighter" from this date.
Does the US really need the F-35 to only discover no one else can do it? Does fusion make a difference in the battle? Can the invisibility of stealth hide the facts about the program? All these questions will be answered in the next decade. A lot of money is riding on this "Moon shot". What I believe is not important since what facts are more important. If the F-35 makes America forget about Tom Hanks and Apollo 13, then mission is accomplished and the Universe is back in balance.
Tom Hanks script:
"Jim Lovell: [narrating] Our mission was called "a successful failure," in that we returned safely but never made it to the moon. In the following months, it was determined that a damaged coil built inside the oxygen tank sparked during our cryo stir and caused the explosion that crippled the Odyssey. It was a minor defect that occured two years before I was even named the flight's commander. Fred Haise was going back to the moon on Apollo 18, but his mission was cancelled because of budget cuts; he never flew in space again. Nor did Jack Swigert, who left the astronaut corps and was elected to Congress from the state of Colorado. But he died of cancer before he was able to take office. Ken Mattingly orbited the moon as Command Module Pilot of Apollo 16, and flew the Space Shuttle, having never gotten the measles. Gene Kranz retired as Director of Flight Operations just not long ago. And many other members of Mission Control have gone on to other things, but some are still there. As for me, the seven extraordinary days of Apollo 13 were my last in space. I watched other men walk on the Moon, and return safely, all from the confines of Mission Control and our house in Houston. I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?"