TODD: I was just headed into my home office. My wife said, “Oh, dear God. Rush,” and I thought, “No.”
And then I got a text from a member of Team EIB. And it was a week ago that we had a very, very emotional show on a day like today that is a day the Lord has made, and last week was a week that the Lord… As I heard Bo Snerdley say on Fox News, Rush took his talent back that was on loan from God. I heard Kathryn talk about Rush’s insatiable desire for knowledge.
She did something historic. I’ve never heard the wife of a celebrity — and Rush was a thinker and a writer and a celebrity, right? A worldwide celebrity. I’ve never heard a celebrity wife spend time with fans and family. And we do feel like family of Rush’s, as listeners. And speaking of that you can call us at 800-282-2882. She talked about this insatiable need, that Rush just needed to be reading.
Rush, you know, as we see scientific rigor under assault by the left in every capacity, I remember that Rush loved legitimate scientific rigor. He loved technology. And again, I’ve been in the car with people who weren’t Rush fans and he was talking about Apple, and I’ve heard people say, “Wow. Wow. He knows his stuff.” And these are tech people.
So he once said, you know, if he hadn’t have gone into radio, he’d have gone into aviation; that extends to, of course, space exploration. The annually earlier this week on Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier, Bret said this about the release of the first videos of the Perseverance rover landing on Mars.
BAIER: NASA releases its first video of the Perseverance rover since arrival on Mars last week. The three-minute presentation shows an enormous orange-and-white parachute hurtling open and then the red dust kicking up as rocket engines lowered the rover to the surface. Perseverance will spend the next two years exploring the surface of Mars and drilling into rocks that may hold evidence of life in the past.
TODD: So from a radio perspective, you’re not to go off format the way Rush could and did, and we were all the better for it. Now, if you’re a regular listener, you knew about this event. You probably knew about it in a way that puts you and me on the cutting edge, as Rush would say.
You know, he used his radio program and network to communicate his fascination with technology and space I believe because it expressed human curiosity and hard work. And he coupled that with his own insatiable curiosity. So it drove him to learn everything he possibly could about something that interested him.
And then it spanned many — a huge array — of subjects that he communicated with us, his audience. On Rush’s second-to-last show, he was still exploring. Rush did… He just did that thing about loving these topics, and he said this about the expected landing of that very Perseverance rover on Mars that Bret Baier just mentioned.
RUSH: Okay, folks, you know me. I’m a person fascinated with tech, such as what your phone can do, your i-devices, your computer, what have you. But there’s something coming up that literally amazes me, and it’s a thing that just boggles my mind, that we as human beings have the power to do this.
NASA is about to land another rover on Mars. It’s called Perseverance. It’s scheduled to land on November the 18th, I believe. The landing sequence is automated so NASA engineers can’t do anything but sit back and hope for the best. Well, what are the obstacles? Well, the spacecraft has about 25 million miles to go in its 292-million-mile trip.
It’s currently closing the distance at 1.6 miles per second. Now, once at the top of the Martian atmosphere, an action-packed seven minutes begin. That is the time of the descent through the Martian atmosphere to the surface of the planet. In addition, or as part of this, the temperatures that will reach the surface of the spacecraft will be equivalent to the temperatures on the surface of the sun.
And it will not melt, if all goes well. It will not evaporate. It will not vaporize. It will not be destroyed. It will be able to withstand temperatures equivalent to the surface of the sun. Then the first supersonic parachute inflation happens. All of this has to happen on a sequence that controllers will have no control over because of the distance between Mars and earth.
Controlling the spacecraft in real time is out of the question. It takes minutes for a command from NASA on earth to reach the Perseverance rover. So it’s up to the spacecraft and the software that’s been written to execute numerous tasks at split-second timing. And it also has to account for any variables that could threaten the descent and landing.
It has to recognize something out of whack and make an adjustment, make an adaptation. Because, unlike landing on the Moon — the Moon’s “close enough,” quote-unquote — where we could send alternate landing instructions. But Mars is so far away that all we can do is sit there and watch for seven minutes as this spacecraft plummets.
The Martian atmosphere reaches temperatures equivalent to the surface of the sun! Parachutes have to deploy. It has to land at the exact speed. If it doesn’t, damage could happen. The rover could be destroyed at any phase of this landing, and nobody can stop it if something goes wrong, because of how long it takes a command instruction sent from earth to reach the rover, which is at the point in time will be in orbit around Mars.
Now, this just fascinates me, and I understand these controllers are gonna be biting their nails and going nuts during these seven minutes being unable to correct anything. And for much of the seven minutes, because of the heat generated by reentry, they won’t be able to have any communication with the rover at all. But even so, whatever communication they get would be delayed because of how far Mars is.
TODD: You’re not supposed to be able to do that, to go off format. And he did. And Rush also knew where he came from. One of the regrets that our friend had in his life is his dad never got to see or fly on EIB One. They can visit about it now in heaven, because aviation wasn’t just Rush’s passion, it was that of his father as well.
RUSH: I got so many nice e-mails from people throughout the aviation industry thanking me for informing people as to all of the tentacles that spread out from a corporate jet, even from its manufacturer to service, completion, and so forth. I want to thank all of you for those nice e-mails. It’s a subject close to my heart. I’ve been fascinated with aviation all my life. My father was a lawyer, but if he really would have fulfilled his dream, he would have run a major airport somewhere.
My father flew P-51s in the China-Burma theater of World War II. He also was an instructor on B-25s. I’ve seen a picture of him outside one, I think it was in Alabama in World War II. I’m not totally sure about that. He had a little Cessna 182 for a while when we were growing up, and my mother took flight school lessons, and she went to her ground school and did her solo and so forth, and got her instrument rating with the hood.
I saw all this as I was growing up and I’ve been fascinated with aviation all my life. My dad got every flight magazine there was, Aviation, Flight, whatever, and he was reading them, and, you know, one of my… If I may get personal here for a brief moment before we go to the break, my father and mother would not believe my life. One of the saddest things, one of the most regretful things I have is that my father died before we acquired EIB One.
He would have not believed it. I would not have been able to get him out of the cockpit jump seat. He would have tried to go get his jet rating. He wouldn’t have been interested in sitting back in the passenger cabin with the flight attendant servicing adult beverages and food. He would want to be up there in the cockpit flying.
He’d want to do acrobatics in it, which of course you can’t do. (laughing) He’d want to do aerobatics. He’d want to do the stalls; he’d want to try the single engine procedure. He’d want to be involved in all of this. That’s one of my major regrets, and that he never even knew. It’s not that he was sick and wasn’t able to do it. He never even knew that we had acquired an EIB One.
But, no. I’ve had a lifelong fascination. (interruption) What? No, you can’t. By regulation, you can’t do a barrel roll. No, not in a corporate jet. That’s not that kind of an airplane. No, no, no, no, no. These things, most of them will not even fly upside down. The fuel pumps, well, that’s not true, safety regulations today, but they’re not designed for it. Those are emergency procedures that work for a while, but they’re not designed for that kind of torque and stress that you would put on it.
TODD: Dang it. (chokes up) I said I wasn’t gonna get emotional today, but now I’m picturing Rush and his parents in heaven and his father, Rush H. Limbaugh Jr. saying, “But, son, the plane.” (laughing) Ha! Ha! Ha! What is EIB One like? I guess they know what flying is like now, if you believe in that vision of heaven.