NASA is planning on a return trip to the moon and has begun construction of a new rocket that will take astronauts to the moon again.  The construction of the core rocket, the last piece was placed in the test stand back in January 2020. This new spacecraft is called “Orion” and will be capable of containing enough fuel to take the craft beyond the earth’s orbit and to the moon. The core is 212-foot tall rocket stage, the largest that NASA has ever produced. The rocket contains liquid hydrogen as fuel and liquid oxygen as the oxidant in the combustion reaction of burning the fuel for thrust, and is equipped with four RS-25 rocket engines. The planned mission to the moon is called “Artemis 1 Lunar Mission.”
- NASA Invites Media to Hot Fire Test for Mega Rocket to Support Moon Missions, Accessed Mar. 3, 2021, https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invites-media-to-hot-fire-test-for-mega-rocket-to-support-moon-missions
Testing is an absolutely necessary step to ensure the stages of the rock are all functioning properly. The plan is to have a series of 8 tests. The core stage was built at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans with contributions from suppliers across the country. Boeing is the lead contractor for the core stage. The RS-25 engines are built by Aerojet Rocketdyne. The tests are being conducted by engineers from Stennis, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama and SLS (space launch system) contractors.
NASA has also completed the assembly of the two booster rockets that mount alongside the core. Each booster is divided into five sections known as forward and aft assemblies. These booster rockets are similar to the ones that helped launch the space shuttle and will provide 75% of the thrust at liftoff, 8.8 million pounds of thrust. This makes this rocket 15% more powerful than the Saturn V rocket that lifted the Apollo lunar missions. The USA is returning to the Moon via the Artemis program, which is nicknamed from Greek Mythology (Apollo’s sister). The project was initiated under Donald Trump’s administration, and in February the Biden administration also backed the moon mission. The schedule to land on the moon is very aggressive as the target date of 2024 is aimed at to get humans on the Moon again once more and to maybe even construct a moon base (eventually). The last time humans were on the Moon was back in 1972. The joint construction of the rocket boosters have a limited lifespan of 12 months. This means after the boosters are assembled the clock is ticking down for launch. Engineers state that there may be ways to extend the certification period of these joints.
The core rocket was tested at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the test lasted for only a little over one minute. The engines were supposed to fire for eight minutes to simulate the rocket’s climb to orbit. The engines power levels are capable of being throttled up and down and are able to pivot which allows for the rocket to maneuver during flight. Engineers state that the engine shutdown occurred by a FID (failure identification) signal followed by a major component failure. As a result, the onboard engine controller computer sent a message to the core stage controller to shutdown. To test the core, engineers filled the rocket with 700,000 gallons (2.6 million liters) of cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen. This was the 8th and final test of the core. The plan for the first test flight is to send the Orion spacecraft on a loop around the Moon.
The Spiritual insights that we receive from this type of research is related to many conspiracy theories that state man had never been to the moon and the moon visits in the late 60’s and early 70’s were nothing but an elaborate hoax. Some have said that NASA claims they lost the technology and question how can technology be lost? The point is the ability to send men to the moon depends upon a rocket that is capable of taking men to the moon. Just as we see here in the construction of this new rocket the age of the components after manufacturing limits their lifetime and use. The joints in this case are certified so as the fuel is not lost during flight which might lead to an ignition event and kill everyone on board. With budget cuts and such, this technology that took men to the moon was lost, but not forgotten as we can see! This technology must be safe because lives are at stake, this is why NASA had planned 8 tests to be conducted on the core booster and side boosters in order to ensure the engines are functional, safe, and work within the design parameters of the systems. The anti-moon walk conspiracy theory is relatively simple. People who believe these things state that the Apollo 11 astronauts never really went to the Moon, rather, they blasted off into orbit and waited up there while the world watched scenes that were actually filmed in a studio, before coming back down to be falsely hailed as heroes. Now this is a significant issue as that has a direct parallel to our faith. These things are paralleled to the Bible as the infallible Word of God and a historical text documenting the way the Lord God Almighty worked in the lives of His people. The events in the bible had witnesses who wrote down what they saw, and there is much archeological evidence for everything written in the Scriptures.
For those who do not trust the Bible, they do so for numerous reasons. One of the major reasons for most people is due to a presuppositional bias against the supernatural. Others have a problem believing someone can come back from the dead, or walk on water, or being healed of diseases, and they claim these things raise red flags and are dismissed as fables. Others feel the scriptures just rub them the wrong way as God being merciless and cruel or the mitzvot against certain lifestyles is out of date (i.e. LGBTQ), or even one may not like the idea of the existence of hell. Others reject the Scriptures on philosophical grounds as not understanding how an all powerful God can permit evil in this world. We note however that there are reasons why some people do not accept the Scriptures because and the reasons are actually explicitly stated as why this happens and what is going on. For example:
- “Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:25–27, בָּעֵת הַהִיא אָמַר יֵשׁוּעַ׃ ״מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְךָ, אָבִי, אֲדוֹן הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, כִּי הִסְתַּרְתָּ אֶת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה מִן הַחֲכָמִים וְהַנְּבוֹנִים וְגִלִּיתָם לְעוֹלָלִים. כֵּן, אָבִי, שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּךְ הָיָה רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ. הַכֹּל נִמְסַר לִי מֵאֵת אָבִי וְאֵין אִישׁ מַכִּיר אֶת הַבֵּן, זוּלָתִי הָאָב; אַף אֵין אִישׁ מַכִּיר אֶת הָאָב, זוּלָתִי הַבֵּן וְכָל מִי שֶׁהַבֵּן רוֹצֶה לְגַלּוֹת לוֹ).
- “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. . . .This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:11–15, הֵשִׁיב וְאָמַר׃ ״מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלָּכֶם נִתַּן לָדַעַת אֶת סוֹדוֹת מַלְכוּת הַשָּׁמַיִם, אַךְ לָהֶם לֹא נִתַּן. כִּי מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ נָתוֹן יִנָּתֵן לוֹ וְשֶׁפַע יִהְיֶה לוֹ, אַךְ מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ, גַּם מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ יִלָּקַח מִמֶּנּוּ.לָכֵן בִּמְשָׁלִים אֲנִי מְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם, כִּי בִּרְאוֹתָם אֵינָם רוֹאִים וּבְשָׁמְעָם אֵינָם שׁוֹמְעִים אַף אֵינָם מְבִינִים.וּמִתְקַיֶּמֶת בָּהֶם נְבוּאַת יְשַׁעְיָהוּ לֵאמֹר׃ ׳שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ וְאַל–תָּבִינוּ וּרְאוּ רָאוֹ וְאַל–תֵּדָעוּ.הַשְׁמֵן לֵב–הָעָם הַזֶּה וְאָזְנָיו הַכְבֵּד וְעֵינָיו הָשַׁע, פֶּן–יִרְאֶה בְעֵינָיו וּבְאָזְנָיו יִשְׁמָע וּלְבָבוֹ יָבִין, וְשָׁב וְרָפָא לוֹ.׳).
- “And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this [that Jesus is the Christ] to you, but My Father who is in heaven’” (Matthew 16:17, אָמַר לוֹ יֵשׁוּעַ׃ ״אַשְׁרֶיךָ שִׁמְעוֹן בַּר–יוֹנָה, כִּי לֹא בָּשָׂר וָדָם גִּלָּה לְךָ, אֶלָּא אָבִי שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם.)
- “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil” (John 8:43–44, מַדּוּעַ אֵינְכֶם מְבִינִים אֶת דִּבּוּרִי? מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינְכֶם יְכוֹלִים לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶת דְּבָרִי.אַתֶּם מֵאֲבִיכֶם הַשָּׂטָן וְאֶת מַאֲוַיֵּי אֲבִיכֶם חֲפֵצִים אַתֶּם לַעֲשׂוֹת. הוּא רוֹצֵחַ הָיָה מֵרֵאשִׁית וּבָאֱמֶת לֹא עָמַד, כִּי אֵין אֱמֶת בּוֹ. מִדֵּי דַּבְּרוֹ שֶׁקֶר, מִתּוֹךְ יֵשׁוּתוֹ שֶׁלּוֹ יְדַבֵּר, כִּי שַׁקְרָן הוּא וַאֲבִי הַשֶּׁקֶר).
- “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God” (John 8:47, זֶה אֲשֶׁר מֵאֵת הָאֱלֹהִים שׁוֹמֵעַ אֶת דִּבְרֵי אֱלֹהִים. אַתֶּם אֵינְכֶם שׁוֹמְעִים, כִּי אֵינְכֶם מֵאֵת הָאֱלֹהִים.״).
- “You do not believe because you are note of My sheep” (John 10:26, אַךְ אַתֶּם אֵינְכֶם מַאֲמִינִים מִשּׁוּם שֶׁאֵינְכֶם מִצֹּאנִי.צֹאנִי שׁוֹמְעוֹת אֶת קוֹלִי וַאֲנִי מַכִּיר אוֹתָן; הֵן הוֹלְכוֹת אַחֲרַי).
- “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot” (Romans 8:7, שֶׁהֲרֵי מַחְשְׁבוֹת הַבָּשָׂר עוֹיְנוֹת אֶת אֱלֹהִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן נִכְנָעוֹת לְתוֹרַת אֱלֹהִים, אַף אֵינָן יְכוֹלוֹת לְהִכָּנַע.).
- “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Corinthians 2:14, אַךְ הָאָדָם הַנַּפְשִׁי אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל אֶת דִּבְרֵי רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, שֶׁכֵּן סִכְלוּת הֵם בְּעֵינָיו; גַּם אֵין הוּא יָכוֹל לָדַעַת אוֹתָם, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהֵם נִבְחָנִים בְּאֹפֶן רוּחָנִי).
- “Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 4:3, אַךְ אִם נִסְתֶּרֶת בּשׂוֹרָתֵנוּ, נִסְתֶּרֶת הִיא לָאוֹבְדִים.).
- “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6, אֲנַחְנוּ מֵאֱלֹהִים. הַיּוֹדֵעַ אֶת אֱלֹהִים שׁוֹמֵעַ לָנוּ; מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מֵאֱלֹהִים אֵינֶנּוּ שׁוֹמֵעַ לָנוּ. מִתּוֹךְ כָּךְ מַכִּירִים אָנוּ אֶת רוּחַ הָאֱמֶת וְאֶת רוּחַ הַתּוֹעָה.).
In Matthew 11:25-27, we read ״מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְךָ, אָבִי, אֲדוֹן הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, כִּי הִסְתַּרְתָּ אֶת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה מִן הַחֲכָמִים וְהַנְּבוֹנִים וְגִלִּיתָם לְעוֹלָלִים. כֵּן, אָבִי, שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּךְ הָיָה רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” We note what Yeshua is saying here, how it is the will of the Father in heaven that these truths are hidden. This speaks to the presuppositional bias against the supernatural from the sense that we need to be open to the fact that these things have been hidden for the purpose of their being searched out and discovered. If we hold to a presupposition that God does not exist, and that there is no possibility of the spirit having influence upon our lives we will forever be lost. A presupposition is “a thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.” Holding to a presupposition can lead to our missing what the Lord wants for our lives, especially while reading the Torah or anywhere else in the Scriptures. In Matthew 13:11–15 we read, הֵשִׁיב וְאָמַר׃ ״מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלָּכֶם נִתַּן לָדַעַת אֶת סוֹדוֹת מַלְכוּת הַשָּׁמַיִם, אַךְ לָהֶם לֹא נִתַּן. “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” Here the Hebrew translation is speaking of having hidden “the secrets of the foundations of the kingdom” (לָדַעַת אֶת סוֹדוֹת מַלְכוּת) and how it is the Lord God who is the one who gives the knowledge of the secrets of the foundations of the kingdom of heaven to those whom he chooses. This means that we must be thankful for the gift of knowing the Lord and His Messiah Yeshua. It is by God’s mercy and grace that that He reveals Himself to us that leads to salvation. The Lord God in heaven is not merciless as some assume, He is in fact very merciful, loving, and desires us to seek Him and to draw near to Him! In Matthew 16:17 we read, אָמַר לוֹ יֵשׁוּעַ׃ ״אַשְׁרֶיךָ שִׁמְעוֹן בַּר–יוֹנָה, כִּי לֹא בָּשָׂר וָדָם גִּלָּה לְךָ, אֶלָּא אָבִי שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם “And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven’” Matthew 16:17 confirms this concept of how the Lord hides these truths and specifically reveals His truth to those whom he chooses. There are reasons why the Lord functions in this way. He does these things so we are seeking Him, looking to His Word, and searching out spiritual truth. This leads to answers why certain lifestyles are not fulfilling or leave us empty inside wanting more when they are outside of His will and purpose for our lives. This is the purpose of God’s mitzvot (commands) against certain lifestyles (i.e. LGBTQ) which speak contrary to holiness, righteousness, and truth. When one comes to the end of himself form the sense of being tired of living a particular lifestyle because it is so unfulfilling, he/she searches for something else to fill the void within. This may lead one down the path of truth, to healing, to forgiveness, and repentance, and life everlasting. There is another path, a darker path, that one may walk in as Yeshua explains there are spiritual forces at work that want to keep one from knowing the Lord. Those who are perishing are unaware of these things. Yeshua explains this saying according to John 8:43–44, מַדּוּעַ אֵינְכֶם מְבִינִים אֶת דִּבּוּרִי? מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינְכֶם יְכוֹלִים לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶת דְּבָרִי. אַתֶּם מֵאֲבִיכֶם הַשָּׂטָן וְ “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my words. You are of your father the devil” These things speak to a spiritual birth, the one who does not know the Lord is paralleled to having been born to the evil one. The one who is from God is said to have been born from God. We note how this addresses the “presuppositional bias against the supernatural” where it is the Lord God who reveals these truths, and there are spiritual forces which are at work to keep a person in the dark and not knowing the truth. Paul expands upon this principle saying according to Romans 8:7 saying, שֶׁהֲרֵי מַחְשְׁבוֹת הַבָּשָׂר עוֹיְנוֹת אֶת אֱלֹהִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן נִכְנָעוֹת לְתוֹרַת אֱלֹהִים, אַף אֵינָן יְכוֹלוֹת לְהִכָּנַע “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” Paul explains quite pointedly how הַבָּשָׂר (the body/flesh) is hostile (עוֹיְנוֹת) against God. This explains too why certain lifestyles are so difficult to come out of. Paul further explains this according to 1 Corinthians 2:14, saying, אַךְ הָאָדָם הַנַּפְשִׁי אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל אֶת דִּבְרֵי רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים,שֶׁכֵּן סִכְלוּת הֵם בְּעֵינָיו; גַּם אֵין הוּא יָכוֹל לָדַעַת אוֹתָם, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהֵם נִבְחָנִים בְּאֹפֶן רוּחָנִי “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” He says the נפש of a man (אָדָם) does not receive (מְקַבֵּל) the things of the spirit of God (דִּבְרֵי רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים). The rabbinic interpretation of the נפש looking at the creation account and Vayikra / Leviticus 4:2 speaks to the נפש as a word describing the animalistic (carnal) aspect of man. This is how the Hebrew translation interprets the Greek text from 1 Corinthians 2:14, being consistent with the rabbinic tradition. This again answers this question of the mitzvot which teach against certain lifestyles (i.e. LGBTQ) and how the scriptures can rub a person the wrong way as the things of the Spirit of God (דִּבְרֵי רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים) are not accepted by the person who walks only in the flesh and is not born from God. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:3, אַךְ אִם נִסְתֶּרֶת בּשׂוֹרָתֵנוּ, נִסְתֶּרֶת הִיא לָאוֹבְדִים “Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” Paul writes that it is because of these things the flesh/body, one’s presuppositions, and basically not knowing the Word of God that the gospel is veiled to those who are perishing. Something to note, when a person has never read the bible from cover to cover in its entirety, this leads to a significant knowledge gap which is expanded as the one who is not born from God lacks the spiritual insights that are given from God. The end result, people begin cherry picking of the scriptures which leads to half truths mingled with lies. Note how the anti missionary sites, such as those for atheism, do a lot of cherry picking of the scriptures and leave out the context where their supposed contradictions are located. Context explains everything! This is due to not having read the bible in its entirety, coupled to the presuppositions, and the flesh, all of these things lead to the gospel being veiled to those who are perishing.
These are the things the scientific research draws out for us in regards to the conspiracy theories that doubt man has been to the moon. These things are a warning to us, to diligently seek the Lord, and to take time to pray and read God’s Word and most importantly to seek God’s help for us to understand these things. When we lay this kind of research down along side of the Scriptures, the research draws out a significant warning as John writes according to 1 John 4:6, אֲנַחְנוּ מֵאֱלֹהִים. הַיּוֹדֵעַ אֶת אֱלֹהִים שׁוֹמֵעַ לָנוּ; מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מֵאֱלֹהִים אֵינֶנּוּ שׁוֹמֵעַ לָנוּ. מִתּוֹךְ כָּךְ מַכִּירִים אָנוּ אֶת רוּחַ הָאֱמֶת וְאֶת רוּחַ הַתּוֹעָה which states “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” We note how we must seek the Lord God in heaven, and his Messiah Yeshua, and believe in the Word, the Bible, the Scriptures, and the message God has given us, His purpose for our lives to live according to His Words and to seek His help in living our lives for Him and all that we do. John writes that it is only those who are from God (מֵאֱלֹהִים) and this is consistent with all of the previous scriptures which speak of the hidden nature of the gospel truth as being given from God Himself. The warning for us today is to not allow our presuppositions to prevent us from seeking God in heaven. We have to be intentional in seeking the truth of God and not be led away by crazy stories that are founded upon doubt and half-truths. As these Scriptures and more explain to us, even faith itself is a gift from God. The conclusion? Ask the Lord God Almighty our Father in heaven to reveal these things in the name of Yeshua the Messiah and he will do so!