Grumpy Old Men 😡
The Grumpy Old Men's Club or "The Grumpies" was formed to provide an interest group aimed specifically at the Gentlemen of Buckhurst Hill U3A.
Since its formation we have enjoyed outings to Bletchley Park, Duxford, The National Army Museum as well as exhibitions at the V&A Museum for “Say you want a revolution? Records and rebels 1966 – 1970” and the Design Museum for “Ferrari: Under the skin”. Pub lunches are also a regular feature of our outings. Details of our outings together with a few photographs can be found via the links at the side of this page.
The calendar of outings planned for 2020 can now be viewed by clicking this link...Grumpies Calendar 2020
The January 2020 outing for the Grumpies was an interesting visit to the Design Museum to view the “Moving to Mars” exhibition.
Mars has been an enigma to observers from Earth for centuries, even as far back as the fourth century BC clay cuneiform tablets showing planetary observation for Mars and Mercury were being produced by the ancient Babylonians.
Ever since, astronomers have been viewing Mars from afar to learn more about the “Red planet”. The late 19th and early 20th centuries found Mars the subject of writers imagination, perhaps the most famous being H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”. Public imagination was fuelled by stories from space and the early films and depiction of “Martians” and other space monsters.
These days, thanks to the Martian rovers Curiosity and Opportunity we can see photographs of the surface of Mars as if we were just feet away.
The exhibition is broken down into four areas:
• The first, “Imagining Mars” covers the early “exploration” and the fictional coverage.
• The second area is “Arrive” covering the 250 million-mile, eight-month journey. Keeping people sane during the voyage to Mars is one of the greatest design challenges faced in reaching Mars
• The third area is “Survive” and deals with how man can be kept alive in the hostile environment presented by Mars.
• The final area is “Thrive” and deals with the creation of a liveable, sustainable habitat for man.
The exhibition traces the history of rocketry and the impact of Wernher von Braun, the brain behind the Nazi V-2 rocket, who was whisked out of Germany by the Americans after the Second World War. Von Braun dreamt of travelling to Mars and his creation of the Saturn V rocket enabled man to reach the moon, which he regarded as a steppingstone to Mars.
The Orion Capsule, currently under development for deep space missions by NASA and ESA is designed to take humans farther than they have ever gone before. Orion will carry the crew to space, sustain them during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry at the high velocity with which it will return from deep space. The first launch is due sometime during 2020.
A long duration space mission demands new human-focussed design for health. Anna Talvi has designed a suitable set of garments to wear inside the spacecraft or habitat – everything from socks and undergarments to a musculoskeletal bodysuit.
The consensus of the eight Grumpies was that we wouldn’t be queuing up to buy a ticket anytime soon! It was however a very interesting exhibition which is well worth a visit.
The next Grumpies event will be on the 18th March and will be a visit to the “Cars: Accelerating the Modern World” at the V&A Museum. Please note the change of date from that originally published. Further information will be circulated in due course.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Group or have any ideas for future outings please contact Kevin Lucas via the attached link.