Poll

Were you born before December 11th, 1972 when Apollo 17 Lunar Module left the Moon's surface?

Yes, I was born before 12/11/72 (at 5:55 PM EST)
85 (69.1%)
No, I am younger than that
38 (30.9%)

Total Members Voted: 123

Voting closed: 01/26/2017 04:45 PM


Author Topic: Were you born before the last Apollo Astronauts left the Moon?  (Read 8871 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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I take the point about potential age profile of NSF but no way to know how representative the poll is.

Even if it is representative for me the key issue is: can the industry find willing younger people to join it? SpaceX at least doesn't appear to have an issue doing that. I don't think spaceflight is any less interesting for the young now, maybe a bit lower profile than in some decades pass (although I think that too is changing).

Offline texas_space

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I missed the poll, but I'm in the post-Apollo 17 crowd. 

I think the younger generations have some interest, but I think spaceflight going beyond LEO will increase interest somewhat.  After all, 18,000+ folks (who probably mostly fit in the post-Apollo 17 crowd) applied to be an astronaut last year.
"We went to the moon nine times. Why fake it nine times, if we faked it?" - Charlie Duke

Offline MP99

I was a few years old when Apollo 11 flew.

I had a major thing with sci-fi and astronomy as a kid. Loved the Shuttle as a teenager.

Cheers, Martin

Edit: PS probably not a good idea to post birth dates here.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2017 05:26 PM by MP99 »

Offline The man in the can

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I'm born a few weeks after STS-1.
The first launch I saw live on TV was STS-51-L  :-\
I was very young but I remember it.
I hope to see a moon landing in my life time!

Offline JAFO

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1961. Space and aviation geek from as long as I can remember, one of my earliest memories is watching a Gemini launch on the 13" black and white console tv, and I can remember going to traveling NASA exhibits at the mall. (I distinctly remember seeing a set of full-sized Titan engines outside the local Safeway, and excitedly pestering my mom to take me down later to watch them run them.  :-[ )

I've been fortunate to meet a few astronauts (John Young, Jim Lovell) and other notables such as Bill Dana at public lectures, and I learned that if I didn't geek out but approached them as pilot-pilot it could be an interesting conversation. (I'd kill to buy Joe Engle a beer or cuppa) But when I was down covering STS-134 & -135 the people that REALLY impressed me were the Flight Directors and engineers. They just vibrate at a different frequency, I think they have more brains in their eyebrows than I have in my whole head.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2017 09:18 PM by JAFO »
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Offline nukie19

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I'm another post-Apollo person chiming in. 

I would add that part of the reason this poll may skew higher in age is because forums are not the preferred method of online communications for a lot of younger people.  Almost all the other forums I have been on seem to have the same trend of having users over a certain age and having a problem keeping younger members interested in the set-up of having to actually wait for a response longer than with Facebook groups, for instance.  Of course, what they haven't realized they are missing out on is the history (and search options) that you get with a forum vs. other online groups.

Offline CraigLieb

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...After all, 18,000+ folks (who probably mostly fit in the post-Apollo 17 crowd) applied to be an astronaut last year.

I am one of them, and they haven't said no yet (or yes either!).
Colonize Mars!

Offline eric z

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 I'm very proud to have been born a little before Sputnik, and even prouder of my wife for sharing the earth for a few months with the great bebopper Charles "Bird" Parker {not to be confused with the great Ensign Parker on "McHale's Navy!}. Our fathers worked at NASA-Goddard and Navy Research Lab. Speaking of which,Dad took me to see a great presentation on Tesla and the VDGGenerator! We were told not to eat snow, though that didn't stop an occasional nibble, since it was probably "hot" from the nuclear testing back then. Saw a s-f movie about Martians coming that made me sleep with a night-lite for the next few years. I remember the adults being freaked out about the Cuban missile-crisis, and Walter Cronkite scaring me to death with reports an asteroid could hit us! I was a huge "Tom Corbett" book fan, though I don't remember the TV version. Whenever I got a "crew-cut" I would feel my neck and yell "Steve Canyon".
 I got a space helmet almost exactly like the ones you can see on "Men into Space"; parent said it was indestructible, so me and a buddy threw rocks at it-it cracked, and I found out Dad did not think that was very funny! Then I remember an eclipse, and Gordo's splashdown. Also a very vague memory before that of watching Alan or Gus Grissom on the black and white TV in the kitchen. I remember the intensity we followed the daily extensions to the Gemini 5 mission {Gordo becoming my favorite astro for years- always upset he did not get to the moon} We also visited Meteor Crater and I copped a tektite I'm sad to have lost over the years.
  Loved the Gemini program and X-15 BIG Time!
 Stepmom would not let the family drive from St.Pete over to see the Apollo 11 launch, but relented at the last minute to us staying up for the moonwalk. Then I placed in a school science fair by designing a space ship to go to Jupiter to study the interaction between sunspots and the Great Red Spot- yeah, it was really lame! Much later I was watching the countdown for CHALLENGER 51-L when the doorbell rang- a friend was bringing me some rare Zappa tapes... and then I yelled out "They've blown up" even before the PAO call; the kids on my school bus were very quiet that day. They were proud they had the only school bus festooned with Apollo and Shuttle stickers!
 Thanks NSF for this thread! Good luck to the Next Generation!
« Last Edit: 02/27/2017 04:13 PM by eric z »

Online mikelepage

This poll is not a complete age profile of NSF users, but it is a bit concerning.
If most users are indeed over 45 years old, it might be happening what I saw in amateur astronomy some years ago: only old-timers are interested in the subject. It was painful to go to astronomy shows and observations and no young people were showing up any longer. It seems the new generations have no interest in it.

Engaging on this forum is daunting. Between the decades of institutional knowledge and complexity of the subject itself, there's a steep learning curve and what looks to be an active interest against changing that. This forum often isn't a particularly inviting place.

Interesting. Everything you said is exactly why I like coming here: people with experience can explain why a particular idea is not viable, so you can improve it. Ideas that are more fiction than science get weeded out. Still, I would have expected a lot more young people. Although a lot of regulars seem to not have posted a reaction (yet). Maybe unwillingness to risk that their age might be considered a lack of experience by elder forum members?

1983 here. 

I didn't even see the poll when it went up (it was only up for a week), so I am not represented either.  Perhaps the poll result is an indicator of who really likes to dive into the forums on a frequent basis. ;)

I do respect and admire the experience represented on this forum, but if this result really is an indicator of the average age of NSF users, then look no further than Jim's response to Flying Beaver earlier on this thread as an example of why.  If people as respected as Jim can make such rude responses to new space enthusiasts and hardly even get called on it, especially when Flying Beaver was arguably right about a landed SpaceX rocket stage being a benchmark date that future generations will look back to, then this website/forum will go the way of so many others, and that would be a shame.

As to whether it was an equally significant achievement, I'd argue that it was more an economic achievement than the technical feats of Sputnik/Gagarin/Apollo 11, but if it does in fact mark the first landing of the first truly reusable rocket, it will be regarded in the same light as the first Model T Ford - refinement of a pre-existing technology that led to a technology (such as car or rocket) becoming economically accessible to a vastly greater number of people.  Not that it wasn't also a technical achievement: It's the first time one of the so-called "newspace" companies has done something never achieved before, not even by a government entity.

One final thought: Sooner or later, the forum structure of NSF will need to be completely reorganised (probably easist to do once it becomes clear what NASA is going to do with SLS, and how it will interact with other launch companies like SpaceX going forward), and I'd suggest 21st Dec 2015 is actually a pretty good pre/post benchmark date, for deciding whether a topic should be judged "historical" or not.  It won't be terribly long before there are people on this forum who don't even remember shuttle launches, and having a whole forum section dedicated to them is going to seem increasingly archaic (sorry Chris!).  Will post more suggestions in the NSF 2017 redesign section.

« Last Edit: 03/08/2017 11:07 AM by mikelepage »

Offline su27k

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This poll is not a complete age profile of NSF users, but it is a bit concerning.
If most users are indeed over 45 years old, it might be happening what I saw in amateur astronomy some years ago: only old-timers are interested in the subject. It was painful to go to astronomy shows and observations and no young people were showing up any longer. It seems the new generations have no interest in it.

Engaging on this forum is daunting. Between the decades of institutional knowledge and complexity of the subject itself, there's a steep learning curve and what looks to be an active interest against changing that. This forum often isn't a particularly inviting place.

Interesting. Everything you said is exactly why I like coming here: people with experience can explain why a particular idea is not viable, so you can improve it. Ideas that are more fiction than science get weeded out. Still, I would have expected a lot more young people. Although a lot of regulars seem to not have posted a reaction (yet). Maybe unwillingness to risk that their age might be considered a lack of experience by elder forum members?

1983 here. 

I didn't even see the poll when it went up (it was only up for a week), so I am not represented either.  Perhaps the poll result is an indicator of who really likes to dive into the forums on a frequent basis. ;)

More like who likes to dive into the poll section frequently...

Quote
I do respect and admire the experience represented on this forum, but if this result really is an indicator of the average age of NSF users, then look no further than Jim's response to Flying Beaver earlier on this thread as an example of why.  If people as respected as Jim can make such rude responses to new space enthusiasts and hardly even get called on it, especially when Flying Beaver was arguably right about a landed SpaceX rocket stage being a benchmark date that future generations will look back to, then this website/forum will go the way of so many others, and that would be a shame.

I disagree, I don't think this forum needs to change or it would go away, it serves a particular crowd/community (a lot of insiders, old timers, etc) and has its own style and purpose, I think this is valuable and shouldn't be changed. Not all internet forums need to be like each other, some diversity is good.

Of course this also means judging next generation's interest in space purely from this poll would be a mistake, suffice to say there're internet community where 90% of the user is under 35 and they're all very enthusiastic about space (more accurately a particular space company...).

Offline mme

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I missed the poll, but I was 4 when Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon.  Neil Armstrong stepping out of the Eagle is not my earliest memory but it's one of my earliest.  My Dad, an aerospace engineer, was over the moon (so to speak.)  I lived close enough to the Santa Susana Field Laboratory to hear engine tests and when the light was right I'd see staging events from some VAFB launches when I happened to look up at the right time. I don't remember realizing that Apollo 17 was the end of an era.

Things seemed interesting for a while with the SkyLab and the Apollo-Soyuz missions.  I was excited about the Shuttle and even saw the Enterprise land at Edwards AFB. But then SkyLab deorbited and I joined the Planetary Society and learned that the Shuttle was crazy expensive and (supposedly) cutting into the planetary mission budgets just in time for teenage angst to set in...
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Online guckyfan

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Missed the poll too. I did not look into the polling section for a while. The beep beep of Sputnik heard in the radio is what hooked me on spaceflight. I have been fascinated by it ever since.

Online savuporo

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Born on the year when no less than 7 separate space probes reached the surface of Venus.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline MATTBLAK

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I was born in December 1965. I remember Apollo 8 and 11 fairly well. And Apollo 13 in particular - as a small boy I was very worried about the Astronauts.
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Offline TripD

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I missed the poll. When I was a kid I used to draw spacemen on the walls of a cave we lived in.

Offline Glom

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This poll is not a complete age profile of NSF users, but it is a bit concerning.
If most users are indeed over 45 years old, it might be happening what I saw in amateur astronomy some years ago: only old-timers are interested in the subject. It was painful to go to astronomy shows and observations and no young people were showing up any longer. It seems the new generations have no interest in it.

Engaging on this forum is daunting. Between the decades of institutional knowledge and complexity of the subject itself, there's a steep learning curve and what looks to be an active interest against changing that. This forum often isn't a particularly inviting place.
I find that. You turn your back for 5 minutes and some threads have another 100 posts to them. Makes it very intimidating to come here. Not that you should change of course. The knowledge and enthusiasm is great.

But it is striking the demographics. John Young hasn't been in space in my lifetime. I didn't expect to be made to feel so wet behind the ears.

Offline CraigLieb

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A note to those who weren't born before the Moon trips started this recent (long) hiatus:
Your generation and the ones that follow will have more chance to go to space as a paying passenger.
While I watched the movie 2001 as a child, I assumed I could buy a ticket to go before I was 40 if I had the money.... I am still ready to board the PAN-AM flight to the public space station and talk on the video phone in the booth back on earth with my family.

Technological progress being what it is, I carry a supercomputer in my pocket that can do video calls, but haven't been able to book the ride to space yet. And then of course, Pan-Am has gone out of business  or been absorbed by some other airline!
Colonize Mars!