Did you drink any Tang today?
Did you ever drink Tang, the space age orange juicy powder that was hailed as the nectar of astronauts back in the early days of heavenly adventure?
With a large degree of certainty I can state I never imbibed any Tang.
It can be widely assumed Tang was not served aboard Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ private rocket ship that transported him and three others into four minutes of weightlessness 62 miles above Earth earlier today. Indeed, Tang has long been supplanted as a refresher for American astronauts.
Tang had a less than meteoric launch back in 1959, though sales were propelled forward in the early years of space exploration. Tang went to the moon with the Apollo 11 crew. Astronauts, however, were not enthusiastic about it. In 2013, Buzz Aldrin, the second space traveler to set foot on the moon, said, “Tang sucks.”
Aldrin’s review and slow U.S. sales notwithstanding, Tang retains significant acceptance abroad, especially in Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the Philippines (https://www.twincities.com/2019/07/20/tang-went-to-the-moon-and-is-still-popular-today-but-not-in-the-good-old-usa/).
Of course, today’s launch and last week’s Richard Branson flight aboard Virgin Galactic prompted this homage to Tang.
What I really feel, however, is a sense of waste. Billions have been and are being spent in pursuit of interstellar exploration. I’m one of those yahoos who doesn’t believe the return on investment justifies the expense. Do we really need to indulge millionaires and billionaires seeking an out of this world high when so many citizens of our planet suffer from poverty and its related illnesses. If they want to experience weightlessness, let them just go to iFLY Westchester in Yonkers or a similar venue where they can float in air like a skydiver does.
I would prefer if we spent at least a comparable amount exploring the riches of Earth within reach—the world beneath the seven seas.
Explore underwater farming. How’s this for untapped potential?—“The United Nations estimates that the world could easily be fed if just 2% of oceans were used for sustainable farming” (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/07/underwater-farms-sustainable/).
Want to see what an underwater farm, Nemo’s Garden off the Italian coast, looks like? Click on the accompanying link or sync it with your browser (https://youtu.be/i49Grb9ageY).
Back to Earth: For those who might have missed it, after a near five year wait since her death at 99, most of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s ashes were buried in her native Budapest, Hungary, a few days ago. Atop her grave a crucifix was planted.
What might not be known to many is that Zsa Zsa and her almost equally famous sisters Eva and Magda were born to Jewish parents (https://www.timesofisrael.com/zsa-zsa-gabors-ashes-make-fashionably-late-return-to-budapest-for-burial/).
Back to Space: Continuing my listing of favorite themed movies, here are my top picks of films with a space-related motif (please note the list is based on movies I have seen. It does not include any of the Alien, Star Trek or flicks beyond the original three Star Wars movies):
Star Wars (original three)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Right Stuff
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Men in Black
War of the Worlds (1953)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)