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Floating in the most peculiar way

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Astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station
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OKLAHOMA CITY – I had an enlightening conversation this morning while appearing as a guest on the Mitchell in the Morning radio show, hosted by Scott Mitchell on 1520 AM KOKC.

One of the more interesting topics we hit was discussing the new documentary The Nightmare, directed by Rodney Ascher, which I reviewed here.

I opened up my discussion of The Nightmare by reminding the radio show’s listeners that Ascher had first done the doc Room 237, the film about different interpretations of what director/magician Stanley Kubrick was really trying to say in The Shining.

I specifically mention the theory about Apollo 11 and the Moon landing possibly being filmed/faked by Kubrick and that led Mitchell to mention Danny Torrance’s Apollo 11 sweater in The Shining.

We also talked about the big front-page story in The Oklahoman today reporting on the meeting yesterday in Weatherford, Oklahoma of former astronaut Gen. Thomas Stafford and Gen. Aleksei Leonov, the Soviet cosmonaut, both of whom led crews during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The peaceful space mission, in July 1975, had a melting effect on the Cold War at that time. Stafford and Leonov met at the museum in Weatherford bearing Stafford’s name to commemorate the 40th anniversary of that mission.

Leonov was also the first man to walk in space and the name of the Soviet spacecraft in the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey2010: The Year We Make Contact – bears Leonov’s name and heads to Jupiter to find out what really happened to the U.S.S. Discovery.

On New Year’s Day – Jan. 1, 2015 – I wrote a Dust Devil Dreams post called “We got cows!” (a Twister reference – sync Andras Jones) I noted a drawing my son colored of the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz space mission involving joint U.S./Soviet astronauts and cosmonauts. This was 40 years ago, right after the fall of Saigon and the rise of the Khmer Rouge butchers in neighboring Cambodia.

At the time I wrote: “This drawing really fascinated me. It turns out that Oklahoma native Thomas Stafford was part of that mission and was part of the original Project Gemini (“twins” or “double” program. There were many references to Stafford all over the exhibit, including his Apollo-Soyuz spacesuit.

"Ground control to Major Tom ..."

A few days ago, I was flipping channels and came upon NASA TV. Astronaut Scott Kelly was being interviewed.

Kelly, as I noted in “We got cows!,” is on the International Space Station (ISS – which he is sharing with Russian cosmonauts) involved in a “twins” experiment. How will two identical twins age – one in space, one on earth (Mark Kelly)? Scott Kelly’s arms were folded and two spacesuits were in between him – very 2001-esque. There was something unnerving about Kelly’s stare. 

This all happened after a Russian supply ship failed to make it to the ISS with supplies (this was where Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield performed a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity"). This was the second supply ship to fail in reaching ISS in less than a year's time.

And here we are - 40 years since the Americans and Russians came together in friendship and discovery (sync 2010) - where American and Russian relations are at their worst since the Cold War. Are we unhappy or a product of the political system we are in? Will we truly discover the Earth and the heavens in true friendship and peace? I certainly hope so.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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