November 29, 2019
This shows how difficult this sort of thing really is.
When the Eagle made her final descent Armstrong and Aldrin found their landing site full of boulders and had to scramble to find a new landing site. It was a LOT closer than everyone knows; they suffered a computer error at the last minute and it was too late to abort. Only Armstrong's excellent piloting skills saved the day. Barely. And that was with a test pilot at the controls in real time. It's harder to land when you aren't there.
The Soviets soft landed a probe on Venus, which was much harder than anything we've ever tried to do (even harder than landing on Titan.) Venus has earthlike gravity, an atmosphere as dense as the bottom of the ocean, and incredible acid rain. They were able to do it because they had a lot of practice. Space travel is not for the novice or tenderfoot.
That said, I want to point out that India is working towards this kind of expertise, and I still believe India will be the next great power. They are smart, they are industrious, and they are willing to try, which is perhaps the most important thing. So much of life is about showing up.
As a long-time computer systems analyst, I have had a number of times when I worked alongside Indian contractors, and I can tell you they were good people to work with: technically adept, co-operative, friendly, and I had a great time working with them.
Posted by: Dana Mathewson at November 29, 2019 09:09 PM (0nnLq)
I've always thought India was the coming superpower. I believe China will peak and wane - and probably already has peaked. Their system is too inflexible and suffers from centralization and the other usual problems of a Communist system.
I suspect the coming powers will be in eastern Europe as well as India and quite possibly Chile, if it can get it's act together (famous last words, and especially true for any Latin American country.) I see Hungary and Poland as having the potential to surpass most European countries in a few decades. I may be wrong on Poland, but I'm pretty confident Hungary is going to really go places. They had the good sense to avoid being overrun by Muslim "refugees".
Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at November 30, 2019 02:38 AM (Jjg4P)
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