When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene
Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today newspaper on 18 July 2014
Road safety infographic – courtesy WHO
The Apollo 8 space mission, which lasted from 21 to 27 December 1968, was the first time that a manned spacecraft left Earth orbit, travelled to the Moon and returned after taking a close look.
They didn’t land, but tested many procedures for the actual landing six months later. When they were heading back, a ground controller’s son wanted to know who was driving the spacecraft. Astronaut Bill Anders, replied: “I think Isaac Newton is doing most of the driving now.”
That witty summing up of celestial mechanics is one of the finest quotes of the entire Apollo space program. It comes to mind when I ask myself who — or what — is driving on our chaotic Lankan roads. My own answer: lots of testosterone
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