Return to the Moon, Retrun to Exploration!
John "Dallas" Schwartz
December 3, 2012
I was 5 when Neil & Buzz took those first steps by Man on the surface of the Moon. My family worked for Aerojet at the time in support of the space program as well as various defense projects. My folks made sure even at that ealry age I was in front of the tv with them for every Moonshot. Those are my most vivid memories of my early childhood and have stuck with me ever since. When I graduated high school I joined the Marine Corps and attended the advanced Radar & Missile school at Redstone Aresenal in Huntsville, AL. Huntsville is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Space Camp. I enjoyed many visits to the space center while in Huntsville. This was in 1985-86; the time of the Challenger accident. That re-invigorated my desire to be a part of the space program in some manner. After leaving the Marine Corps I worked for almost 15 years on various missile programs as well as several satellite projects. I now work in the Wastewater industry. I know as we build the capability for extended stays & long range missions we'll need the infrastructure we use here on Earth to afford this. That is my new endevour, to help build the systems that will enable us to recycle the wastewater generated so it can be reused. Water is the key to life, the crews will need to either find sources or regenerate that which they have with them. The Moon looks to have vast amounts trapped in icey crates on the South pole. In time we'll extract that and use it in support of Lunar colonies. It can also be broken down into Hydrogen & Oxygen for use as fuel for longer range missions. On orbit fuel depots can be re-supplied by this allowing for longer range missions to the Asteroid belt & Mars. I look forward to the day when all this is under way!
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.