Mindworks’ Weblog

Thinking Matters

“We have ignition sequence start…”

Posted by Andrew Cooper on July 22, 2008

Well, ‘the idea’ to which I’ve been referring obliquely here is now out in the open.  See this website which explains what it is.  There’s quite a lot more to the idea than I’ve mentioned on the website, but I’m very keen not to overload people at this point and attempted to focus on the essentials.

More on that story later, but for now I just want to mention briefly the source of the quote above.  It is, of course, part of the routine during a rocket launch count down.  I was 13 when Apollo 11 launched on its way to the Moon, and it was – particularly for a teenage boy with an interest in aviation – somewhat exciting.

Although all the Apollo missions launched safely, we were very aware that things could go horribly and spectacularly wrong.  It would be another 14 years until I watched with horror as Challenger exploded but the Apollo launchers released as much energy as a small nuclear bomb. If they did it all in one go…

I’m very excited about Explore China – it draws together many threads that I’ve been thinking about and have worked on over the years.  We’re at an early stage and there’s lots to be done.  It’s almost – given that I’m in mission control here in Newbury – as exciting as this:

As the years go by it seems almost unbelievable that they did it.  (I recommend plugging your speakers in and turning them to full volume when watching the above.)

Lastly, it’s well worth watching the whole of the video below.  I know we have short attention spans these days, but all nine minutes are worth the effort.  I have no idea who wrote this, but try to imagine a modern politician giving a speech like this.  Wouldn’t happen, would it?    It’s based around a potted history of innovation which, if you’ve been following this blog, is a topic that’s dear to my heart.

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One Response to ““We have ignition sequence start…””

  1. […] which I mentioned that I was reading when the creative binge that resulted in ‘Explore China‘ (and some other exciting things) started just over a month […]

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