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 8779 times)

Offline CraigLieb

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Commander of Apollo 17, Gene Cernan just passed away.  He and Lunar Module Pilot, Harrison H. Schmitt were the last humans to set foot on the Moon until a return in the future. 
Why a poll?
Since demographics could be considered to affect poll results, I am wondering how many of us were alive and breathing air on the date (12/11/72) which Apollo 17 Lunar module lifted off from the surface. 

Now if you want to be picky, we can use 5:55 PM Eastern Standard Time (the published lift-off time of the Lunar Module) if you happen to have been born on that date. 

I for one, was alive and breathing.
Colonize Mars!

Offline Poole Amateur

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I was born one month and four days after Armstrong and Aldrin  landed on the moon. Which means I'm getting old and grumpy.

Offline PDZiemer

I am old enough to remember watching Apollo launches on TV as a young child, so yes, I was around. My parents are both scientists, so there was a lot of interest in the space program in our house.

Offline Rocket Science

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I was born before Sputnik... ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Phil Stooke

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Me too! 

Offline AlanF

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I watched Alan Shepherd's mercury launch on TV...

Offline Stellvia

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I was born one month and four days after Armstrong and Aldrin  landed on the moon. Which means I'm getting old and grumpy.

Born two months after Armstrong's first step. Going grey, but trying not to be grumpy. Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not :D
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Offline rpapo

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The first launch I remember seeing on TV was one of the Gemini missions.  I have no idea which one.  By the time Apollo rolled around, I was an avid follower of everything that was happening.  Ten year old boys can geek out really easy.
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline seawolfe

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I was born the year Sputnik was launched, so yeah....I followed ALL of the manned missions from Mercury to Apollo.  My dad set me in front of the small black and white TV and so I could watch history unfold.  :)

Offline Kansan52

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Remember Sputnik, chimps in space, dog in space, Cuban Missile stand-off, bad day in Dallas, Mercury/Redstone, X planes, Mercury/Atlas, no such thing as cable, Gemini/Titan, no such thing as internet, Gemini/Titan not launching, Gemini almost killing crew in orbit, Apollo 1,...

oh, just an old guy. (Hence the 52 in the handle. Birth year.)

Offline DrRobin

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I have followed every NASA launch since the late Gemini Missions when I was in elementary school. I remember in the mid-60's feeling like the planned Apollo Moon landings were impossibly far in the future! On a hot, sunny, Summer day in San Diego, I was camped out in our sweltering, non-air-conditioned living room in front of our new color TV, watching coverage of the Apollo 11 landing. For the last mission, Apollo 17, I was horrified when our neighborhood had a power outage, meaning I'd miss the historic night launch. Fortunately, my quick-thinking Dad, a surgeon, drove me into the hospital (which had auxiliary generators) and we watched on the TV in the doctor's lounge. It never occurred to me to think that nearly a half-century would go by and we'd never again go beyond low Earth orbit!

Offline mheney

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Another pre-Sputnik club member.  Glenn's first flight got me hooked ....

Offline Bob Shaw

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Pre-Sputnik, too. In fact, as soon as the news of my birth hit Washington DC the US announced that they'd launch their first satellite during the IGY. Only reasonable, really!

Offline Donosauro

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Pre-Sputnik, pre-Viking (rocket), and even pre-Aerobee.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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I was born between Apollo 8 & 9. Regrettably I have no memory of Apollo from then. The space shuttle was the first spaceflight development to register with me.

But I've never been more interested in and excited about the future of spaceflight than I am now. So many positive developments and companies looking to expand our horizons.

Bring it on :D

Offline Bubbinski

Born a couple of months before Apollo 14. First human space flight I watched live was STS-1.
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Online RonM

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I was born after Sputnik, but before Vostok 1.

Online Lar

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Born post Sputnik, pre Mercury. Remember seeing Gemini on TV (vaguely). Built my first LEGO set well before the first Apollo launch.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline mrkmrsk

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I was born right in the thick of Mercury.  No real memory of Gemini, but I remember the Apollo flights very well. I pretty much grew up watching Walter and Wally on CBS. Never missed a televised moon walk - my mom, god bless her, always made sure that I was "staying home from school with a bad cold" on those days.

Offline Owlon

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I'm young enough that when I was about 13, I was all excited about this new Constellation Program that looked like a cool step forward past the ISS.

Seems like NASA's manned spaceflight has stalled a bit since then, but I'm optimistic about the overall outlook for the next 10-20 years in space.

Offline Rocket Science

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Pre-Sputnik, pre-Viking (rocket), and even pre-Aerobee.
Pre-history? ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online Ixian77

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1959 vintage here.
Remember the late Gemini missions. Before that, I remember everyone in the neighborhood gathering around in our backyard to watch 'one of our' satellites, apparently one of the very first visible on a regular basis, as it passed overhead.
Maybe one of the Echos?

Offline spacenut

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They landed on the moon on my 16th birthday.

Offline jtrame

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1952 model here, and yes I think it was Echo 1 that we went out to see, it was easily visible and bright.

Offline Quindar

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I'm an old codger I was born Pre-V2 let alone anything U.S. made for space so I got to watch all of the space race first hand.  I had an encounter with a Redstone missile in Germany in like 1962 that made me rocket aware and from then on I was hooked on following along as we went to the moon, heady times those were.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...

Offline whitelancer64

"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline AS_501

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This 1950 model Terran made a point of taking a mental snapshot of the Moon while the Apollo 17 astronauts were on the surface.

Online catdlr

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1952 model here, and yes I think it was Echo 1 that we went out to see, it was easily visible and bright.

1953 and I also went out into my parent's backyard many dark evenings to view Echo 1 go by.
Tony De La Rosa

Offline ZachS09

I was born 24 years, 4 months, and 6 days after Apollo 17 left the surface of the Moon. Way too young to see this.

My birth date was April 17, 1997.
« Last Edit: 01/20/2017 01:18 AM by ZachS09 »
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

Offline AS-503

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I was born on the Friday that Apollo 8 splashed down (December 27th 1968). Also Kepler's Birthday!
For those that don't know already (looking at you Jim) my username AS-503 is the booster name for that mission.
A (Apollo) S (Saturn) 5 (Saturn 5 btw a 2 here is used for Saturb 1B Apollo missions) 03 (3rd flight of the Saturn 5).

If you follow that numbering scheme you'll see that Apollo 11 is AS-506.

Offline Eric Hedman

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I was born before Sputnik... ;D
A few weeks ago I drove past the spot a piece of Sputnik landed on in the city of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

I was 10 years old when Neil and Buzz landed.  I remember it well hearing Neil Armstrong say the Eagle has landed.  I was excited.  I was sad when Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt took off from the Moon because I knew that nothing as exciting was going to happen for a while.  I just didn't think it would be this long a wait.

Offline Lee Jay

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I was born almost exactly 9 months after Neil took his small step.

Offline cwr

Pre-Sputnik, pre-Viking (rocket), and even pre-Aerobee.

Ditto,
while I was interested in rockets pre-Sputnik, it was the Luniks and the Pioneers that triggered me into tracking rocket launches [as well as was possible over 50 years ago] and started me on my first version of my rocket launch database [paper variant].
Carl

Offline llanitedave

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I was 13 going on 14 for Apollo 11.  The biggest disappointment of my young life during that period was when Alan Bean accidentally pointed the TV camera at the Sun during Apollo 12.

Soon after that, I discovered girls, and disappointments multiplied quickly.
"I've just abducted an alien -- now what?"

Offline John Alan

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I was born between Gemini 11 and 12 flying... (fall of '66)

I remember watching the Apollo 11 landing coverage on a B&W TV...

Offline HighlandRay

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I was born in 1948 and was therefore 9 years old when Sputnik circled the earth. I remember reading the headlines in one of the UK newpapers the following day "Bleep, bleep, bleepski"
To old to die young

Online MATTBLAK

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This Is My Story - My Own 'Space Odyssey'

My Mother was one of the first people in the world to see Sputnik One (or it's rocket stage) with the naked eye. She was at her washing line and happened to look up in the twilight sky and saw a bright, steady point of light swiftly crossing the sky. This was a story she told all her life.

I was born in December 19th 1965 in New Zealand – December 18th in the U.S. In fact; my mother was in labour birthing me as Frank Borman and Jim Lovell were undergoing re-entry and return to Earth during Gemini 7. So you could literally say I was born into the Space Age. I was 3 and a half years old when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. I listened to the landing on the old, red AM tube radio with my Mother in our kitchen in Papatoetoe, Auckland on what was July 21st in New Zealand, shortly after 9:00am. I remember this event very clearly.

New Zealand had no satellite stations in those days – film and videotapes of major events had to imported by aircraft to be shown often the next day on our one-channel national network television! But Apollo 11 was an exception – an N.Z. Airforce Canberra jet bomber flew a videotape of the landing and EVA from Sydney, Australia to our capital; Wellington city in time to get the tape to the TV station there. A special set of relay antenna trucks was setup to broadcast the special transmission at 7:30pm that evening, across most of New Zealand. New Zealand is about the same size as the U.K.

The special show was presented by our own equivalent of Patrick Moore: Mr Peter Reid, a veteran broadcaster and Astronomer. The ghostly Apollo 11 footage had such an impact on me. The next day, I borrowed my elder brother’s motorcycle helmet, old schoolbag backpack, and small instamatic camera, then went to my next-door neighbour’s back yard. They had a big sandpit. They also had a kids slide with attached ladder. I somehow managed to wobble and drag the slide and ladder a few feet and stick the bottom ladder legs into the sandpit. I threw some pebbles and rocks into the sandpit. I donned the helmet and bag, walked up the slide, then turned around and came slowly down the ladder. I made one very small step in the sand, then a few more. Then I pretended to take some pictures – the camera had no film in it – and I collected some rocks and pebbles.

After my ‘EVA’, I went back up the ladder and sat at the top of the slide. I took off the helmet, I think I let it go down the slide – then took out something from the schoolbag to eat. I don’t recall what that was, but it was likely a peanut butter sandwich, which Mum made me often. Shortly after this; the neighbours arrived home. They were a bit bemused, as I didn’t really have permission to be there, so I slunk off home!

On the morning December 20th 1972 – December 19th evening in the U.S. – it was the day after my seventh birthday. I got up early to watch the live splashdown of Apollo 17, the final lunar mission. I had watched several other live Apollo splashdowns after New Zealand had finally obtained satellite TV service in 1971. And I did so again after every Skylab mission and Apollo Soyuz, too. In April 1981 my eldest brother Mark and I stayed up late into the night to watch on TV the eventually scrubbed launch of STS-1. When TVNZ declined to telecast the launch the next day, I was furious! I had to listen to the launch on a tiny transistor radio, huddled under my bedcovers. I was scared half to death as I listened to that epic first launch, shaking with excitement. I skipped school to watch 'Columbia' land a couple days later. And like John Young; I fist-pumped the air in excitement after the landing. It was a massive honour to finally meet the man himself in 1996.

…And I truly felt like close family members had died when I watched the horrifying destruction of Shuttles ‘Challenger’ and ‘Columbia’ on TV, years later…

…And finally in July 2011; my Wife, Maree and I were by the Countdown clock at Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of STS-135. Along with the thousands of others there, we cheered and roared. And some days later, I watched the landing of ‘Atlantis’ on the internet from my study, back home in New Zealand. And I wept openly...

It’s been a long way – but here I am… This is what Apollo and the American Space Program in general has meant to me. And it’s why I often do radio and television spots in my home country when Space Missions or events of note happen and they need “Expert” commentary (heh!). And it’s also why I get blood-red angry when I get ‘Hoaxtards’ and other rotten people saying to me that the launches I’ve seen in person were not real and that Apollo is fake. Can you even fathom how that makes me feel?!

Well – to Hell with them! I may not have climbed ‘Uphill’ with all those Astronauts. But I have seen that ‘Shining Moutaintop’ – I know it’s very, very, real. And I know I am not alone… Bless all you fellow ‘Space Cadets’ – I’m damned honoured to share this ‘Pale Blue Dot’ with each and every one of you.

Matthew Pavletich.
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline Stardust9906

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Born 5 years before Apollo 11 so I was around for the first and last missions to the moon.

Offline cartman

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Wow, some great posts here. I am a relative youngster, born on the 4th of July 1981. My first space memories are from the late 80's shuttle missions, definitely after Challenger.

Offline gwiz

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Born pre-Sputnik, by 1957 already interested in space (anyone else remember Dan Dare?) and reading nearest thing in the UK to a popular space magazine, RAF Flying Review.  Career in the aerospace industry, on the Hawker-Siddeley team that went to St Louis to work with McDonnell-Douglas on Shuttle Phase B.  Long-time and active member of the BIS.

I was there at KSC for Cernan's Apollo 17 launch.

Offline alang

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I guess I must have been conceived sometime during the Cuban missile crisis.
The first mission I can directly remember was Apollo 8 and it made a big impact on me. Of course when you are five years old Christmas can be very important and maybe I mixed it up with that. For whatever reason it made a bigger impact on me than Apollo 11.
It is difficult now to capture the sense of the sublime that accompanied those moments. Part of that feeling was obviously due to the  childish mind, but the relative indifference of the current generation shows that it wasn't just that. Asking for the moon used to be a way of describing the impossible and anything associated with a trip to the moon had a sense of the profound associated with it. We have all changed.

Offline TaurusLittrow

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About 10 years old at the time of Apollo 17. Remember some of Gemini and the Apollo 1 fire (first reported by a "crawl" at the bottom of the TV screen). The impact of Apollo 8 was profound and magical to a 7-year-old on Christmas vacation from school. I'll never forget the words, "You are go for TLI" and the sight of an ever shrinking Earth. 
« Last Edit: 01/22/2017 02:05 PM by TaurusLittrow »

Offline Davp99

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Born August 31st, 1955

And I was Lucky enough to have a Father who Liked the New Space Frontier. I remember 1960 Christmas, One of my Gifts was a Box of Rockets & Launchers called Cape Canaveral.
    I was also lucky to have a Teacher who never failed to bring in his Black & White TV to watch Mercury thru Gemini & Apollo Missions while they Lifted Off & Splash Downed....  and I made sure to Pass Along to my Son & Grandson All my Love of Space ...  David
You Only Live Twice

Offline CraigLieb

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Thanks all for sharing your stories.
I like the stories much more than the poll that inspired you all to share.
As a young boy, I watched the Apollo 11 landing on my Aunt and Uncle's TV having been given permission to stay up late to see the historic event. The idea that we were walking on the Moon inspired me to become a pilot and an Aeronautical Engineer.

Although I don't expect to be selected from among the 22,000 people that applied for NASA Astronaut candidate training, I did throw my application into the hopper last year, so I still can claim that I am/was a candidate. God willing, I will get to Space in my lifetime, even if I have to pay my way in baggage class.
Colonize Mars!

Offline high road

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I wonder if this poll is representative for the forum's readers. I would have expected a lot more younger people.

My mother was pregnant with me when Challenger exploded. That makes me the youngest of the people who have responded so far  ???

Offline haywoodfloyd

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I was about 10 years old when John Glenn made his orbital flight. I remember being enthralled by spaceflight, so much so that my father bought me a 45 RPM record that contained the highlights of Glenn's flight.
I played it over and over until it wouldn't play anymore.
I'm sad when I think of how, soon, it will be 50 years since the first moon landing and where are we?
If only there had been a visionary in the White House instead of Nixon, things would be very much different than they are now.
I know that there were many young people that were "enthralled" by the Shuttle Program like I was with Mercury/Gemini/Apollo but my time had a goal.
You could say that the Shuttle had a goal of building the ISS but it's just not the same.
I would like to see us go back to the moon and this time to stay. It would give us valuable experience for that big jump to Mars but in our own backyard. You must walk before you can run.

Offline Archibald

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82 to 35.

Really ?

I've born exactly a decade after Apollo 16, thus in spring 1982.

 It could have been worse: had von Braun 1969 Mars plan happened as shown on the slides, first Mars landing would have been August 11, 1982... I would have been a toddler, and twice as much frustrated.

Had it happened in spring 1986 (STG "relaxed budget option, 1969) I wouldn't remember it, not being 4 years old...
At least I can't remember having seen STS-51L live, nor anxiety about Chernobyl... but I discovered both disasters before 10 and they thoroughly traumatized me.
« Last Edit: 01/26/2017 08:13 AM by Archibald »

Offline Flying Beaver

Im 16, born only a couple months before Humankind started its uninterrupted occupation of space.

I sometimes think that I have faint memories of Columbia, but I do doubt it somewhat, seeing I only would of been 2 1/2.

SpaceX for me goes back a while. Falcon 1 was in the news when I was younger, and spaceflight in general has always been a passion of mine.

I find it sad that I only truly started following space 2 years after STS-135 landed, but in a way its cool to be part of a generation of space enthusiasts that doesn't have the shuttle, and where Elon and the SpaceX Space-Hipsters are the role models for our future.

The picture below I took on the most awesome night of my life. Seeing the future unfold. After a 5000km journey across a continent. December 21st 2015, the day spaceflight changed forever, I was there to witness it.

And here's to the future of space, for all of us. From commercial crew, to Falcon Heavy, Vulcan, Raptor, ITS to Mars and beyond. Its one damn cool (tho uncertain in some regards ;)) time to be here on Planet Earth.

- Flying Beaver, The Canadian Space Hipster
« Last Edit: 01/26/2017 08:56 AM by Flying Beaver »
Saw OG-2 Booster Land in person 21/12/2015.

Offline StandardOrbit

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I remember my whole family going outside to try to see Sputnik. I was 4.

Back then we could see the Andromeda Galaxy. Now you can't see the Milky Way.

Offline Jim

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December 21st 2015, the day spaceflight changed forever, I was there to witness it.


What?  What happened then?  I must have missed something there.  That was just a rocket launch
« Last Edit: 01/30/2017 02:14 AM by Jim »

Online MATTBLAK

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Unless you're being slightly sarcastic, Jim - I think he means the landing of the Falcon 9 first stage back at KSC. It was an achievement; maybe not on the level of the first Sputnik, Gagarin or the first docking in space, but an achievement nonetheless.
« Last Edit: 01/30/2017 03:45 AM by MATTBLAK »
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline Jim

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Unless you're being slightly sarcastic, Jim - I think he means the landing of the Falcon 9 first stage back at KSC. It was an achievement; maybe not on the level of the first Sputnik, Gagarin or the fist docking in space, but an achievement nonetheless.

Wow, I didn't never think of that.  Yes, it is an achievement but not as he stated it

Offline Elvis in Space

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My earliest memories are of Walter Cronkite reporting on the Apollo 1 fire and asking mom what happened. I was very much part of watching Apollo 10 barnstorm the moon because I was a big Peanuts fan (Charlie Brown and Snoopy) I still have the snapshot mom took of Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon. She used a flash with her little Kodak 126 and only thing visible is a big reflected white spot filling the screen. I loved watching every minute of Apollo coverage. Grew up in a very non-technical family but it fascinated me to no end and never went away. My parents let me stay up late to watch Apollo 17 lift off and head for the final journey. It never entered my mind that all these years later we still would not have returned. Later came model rockets, computers, cameras, cars, guns, girls, and girls and girls and...yeah, you get it.  :o
Cheeseburgers on Mars!

Offline IRobot

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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.

Online RotoSequence

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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.

Offline Bynaus

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I was born close to eight months before Columbia took her first flight on that shiny white tank (an iconic image that would adorn my childhood room's door many years later). I have been interested in space and spaceflight since my early childhood days, but I have no direct memory of the Challenger accident (if anything, I remember my parents being very concerned about Chernobyl at the time). As a teenager, I grew up thinking that by 2015, we should definetely have made it to Mars (if not 2005, as some supported back then). I remember being very upset at the time that nothing, eventually, came from Hermes (the european shuttle), DC-X and Venture Star (yes, I know, Blue Origin builds on the legacy left by DC-X, so there's that). The bright future in spaceflight I was hoping for died a little back then.

I remember the Columbia accident as if it was yesterday. We had been on a skiing day with my local boy scouts group, and I just sat there in the bus, dumbstuck after hearing the news on the radio, surrounded by people who did not really understand or care what had happened. At that point, it really felt like the history of human spaceflight was drawing to an all-too-early close (although the slow but continuing interest and progress by China was a little light of hope).

And then, a few years later, came SpaceX.

Offline high road

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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?

Online MATTBLAK

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Yes - sometimes age is a factor in the interest group(s) we are discussing. It's not a hard and fast rule; as I have encountered the odd weirdo in my age group - but people under the age of 40 it has been my experience to witness, are more likely to tell me that not only Apollo, but all Space ventures manned and unmanned, Russian, American or Chinese are just being faked. Apparently, the two Shuttle launches I and thousands of others witnessed in person in 1996 and 2011 are not real and did not happen. Space missions are the special effects wing of the Illuminati, the Freemasons, or whomever else the Hoaxtard wankers are raving about this week. Some of these guys get very, very aggressive - on Quora just recently I've had Flat Earth Hoaxtards pursuing me to try 'educate' me away from my 'wrongness'. I am absolutely not making this up. And don't even try to engage these clowns on YouTube comments sections - unless you like threats of violence and death.

I know some of you will roll your eyes and probably say; "Matt - you've been banging on about these idiots for awhile now: give it a rest and ignore them!" The rhetorical question one could ask is - how did we come to this?! Believe me when I tell you - this set of hoax memes is slowly but surely growing like a cancer of the intellect. Even the skeptical among you must accept this reality sometime. But don't let it ever get you down.

Like many of you guys; I am a child of Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle and also of Viking, Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Hubble and Cassini. And I revere the Mars Exploration Rovers and Curiosity. I am proud to be a child of Space. Nobody; no Hoaxtard can take that away from me - nobody. We need to help make the next generation the children of Space, too.
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Offline CraigLieb

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While there seems to be a larger 'older than 45' crowd on the forum and interested in space generally, I believe that launching humans from the USA again and making bold steps to go to Mars will re-engage the younger groups.  The recent NASA movie, Hidden Figures, is being reported as creating more interest in science as a career for girls. These are hopeful signs. I bought NASA flight suit pajamas for my unborn grandchild the weekend I found out my daughter was expecting. She may be an astronaut some day.
Colonize Mars!

Offline philw1776

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Another older than 45.
I was 12 when Sputnik launched.  TV News bulletin interrupted our watching "M Squad" with Lee Marvin.  I was previously interested in astronomy and spaceflight via a Willy Ley book my mother bought me.  It was fun to be a sudden 12 yr old expert on all things space while adults were ignorant and puzzled.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline 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!).
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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 »

Offline 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...).

Online 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.

Offline 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.

Offline 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

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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!