March 6th, 2012

krazy koati

We'll orbit the moon for just one time

It struck me last month, while I was visiting bunny_hugger, that it was only fifty years ago that it was 1962. This is how you can tell I'm a mathematics PhD. I worked that out without even having to use my calculator app. The thing is, it struck me that there were interesting things happening fifty years ago. The Space Race was getting going, after all, and John Glenn had just made his first trip to space, and not only were Mercury and Apollo going full-blast, but Project Gemini had been started up.

So it struck me that a nice little low-effort complement to my math blogging would be one of those real-time-delayed chronicles, following the progress of some of this day-by-day. It'd give me some content in the days between 2,000-word essays on the fine points of The Price Is Right Plus, NASA's quite generous with its online references, particularly several chronicles that list events by what day they actually happen as best as can be determined. And I could bring some attention to stuff that's often ignored.

So, with a couple of test runs done and a workaround to Wordpress's reluctance to let you just have two separate author accounts on the same blog figured out, et me thrill xolo with lthe Project Gemini Chronology: following the progress of Project Gemini, day-by-day, on a fifty-year delay. Sadly, things are a bit slow just yet --- it's two years and a month until the Gemini 1 test launch, after all, and another year until Grissom and Young take their turn --- but it'll pick up, especially when I add in some Project Mercury stuff when it involves things that obviously are relevant to Gemini, such as news about the astronauts who are obviously going to fly later on, like Alan Shepard or Scott Carpenter.

Trivia: On 6 March 1962, the Atlas launch vehicle 107-D was delivered to Cape Canveral, for the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission. Source: Project Mercury: A Chronology, NASA SP-4001, James M Grimwood.

Currently Reading: Branch Point, Mona Clee. This is a pretty appealing try-to-change-history novel, although the most convincing part is the first one, trying to keep the Cuban Missile Crisis from turning into world-wrecking nuclear war. The subsequent go-back-and-fix-stuff events --- bringing things nearer Our Timeline as of the book's writing --- are less convincing, until the final throw-over-the-applecart is pretty near Marrissa Picardian in everybody just going along with the crazy plan and it'll all work out well. It does brush up against but not really discuss directly a utilitarian question regarding timeline alteration, namely, yeah, you kill every person in the old timeline when you start meddling, but, don't the people you create have at least a valid claim to life? And life not-after-armageddon is probably rather better than living in the Strangelove compounds for everybody.