””My climate epiphany wasn’t overnight, and it had nothing to do with Al Gore.”
I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I’m a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a Penn State meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me very uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up. It’s ironic. The root of the word conservative is “conserve”. A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.”
In 1967, an MIT professor gave his students an interesting homework assignment. Their job was to hijack the Apollo space program and use it to destroy an asteroid that was bound for Earth.
Professor Sandorff’s students proposed to hijack Project Apollo, delaying NASA’s first manned lunar landing by about three years. They would take over the first nine Saturn V rockets earmarked for the moon program, commence construction in April 1967 of a third Launch Complex 39 Saturn V launch pad (Pad C), and add a high bay to the VAB, bringing the total to four. NASA had planned to build Pad 39C, going so far as to build a road to the proposed pad site (image at top of post), but had abandoned Pad 39C to cut costs. Three Saturn V’s would be used for flight tests, and the remainder would each launch toward Icarus one heavily modified unmanned Apollo CSM bearing an enormous, 44,000-pound nuclear warhead with a destructive yield of 100 megatons.
A great read at Wired about the homework you wish you were doing, and the certifiable fascinating plan that the students came up with.