Gamasutra, Kotaku Polygon, Ars Technica and Rock Paper Shotgun have an overwhelming majority of white employees. Ethnic diversity is of the utmost importance in all companies, institutions and media in order to creative diversity of ideas and representation of all people not just people of one ethnic background. These companies have created white dominated spaces while erasing the interests of people of color with their evidently discriminatory hiring practices; hiring an all-white staff and then one or two minorities as an afterthought as token people of color rather than out of genuine interest in creating an ethnically diverse space. They need to address these staffing issues right away and create a more culturally diverse environment in their companies.
Imagine three astronauts, 125 million miles from the Earth, talking to Mission Control with a four-minute time lag. They have seen nothing out their windows but stars in the blackness of space for the last 150 days. With a carefully timed burn, they slow into orbit around Venus, and as they loop around the planet, they get their first look at its thick cloud layer just 7,000 miles below.
It might sound like the plot of a science fiction movie, but in the late 1960s, NASA investigated missions that would send humans to Venus and Mars using Apollo-era technology. These missions would fly in the 1970s and 1980s to capitalize on what many expected would be a surge of interest in manned spaceflight after the Apollo lunar landings. They would be daring missions, but they would also be feasible with what was on hand.
The Apollo applications program
NASA’s Apollo program hit a turning point in 1965. Roughly halfway between its inception and the end-of-decade lunar landing deadline, the program was both making headway and losing popular support. Money was desperately needed elsewhere, namely at home to deal with social issues and in Southeast Asia where the Vietnam War raged.
Worries over Apollo’s post-lunar-landing future led to the creation of the Apollo Applications Program. It was the agency’s attempt to preserve the team that brought Apollo to life and use their experience to develop new missions that would extend humanity’s reach into space. At the core of these missions would be scientific gain, not political need. These weren’t full mission proposals; instead, they were meant to show what NASA could do with the existing Apollo technology if it decided to.
The first vague goals of the program were to establish a manned orbiting laboratory and to send missions to the nearest planets using Apollo hardware—two goals that would give NASA reason to continue production of its Apollo-Saturn configurations. But these goals weren’t firm enough. NASA couldn’t continue building single-use Apollo spacecraft and Saturn V rockets without a concrete mission in the pipeline.
To find one, the agency turned to Bellcomm Inc., a division of AT&T established in March of 1962 to support the space agency by evaluating theoretical missions and performing independent analysis. It was Bellcomm that presented NASA with possible manned missions to Venus and Mars. Read the full story