"The American astronaut Neil Armstrong, is standing, on the surface of the moon, on this July 20th, 1969"
- Walter Cronkite, CBS
My mom remember these words so well. Walter Cronkite was reporting live from the studio at CBS, as the first man had crawled out of the lunar lander, and stepped out into the eerie, and silver gray, but oh so amazingly beautiful landscape of our moon. I'm pretty sure most of us over the age of eighteen know Neil Armstrong's words, as he took the first step's on our, until then, unreachable neighbour:
"It's a small step for a man, but a giant leap, for mankind".
This was in 1969 - tonight, on July 20th. 2013, it's the 44th anniversary for the first moon landing. Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins, a three men strong crew, became the chosen ones to make history in a time where a "hero-mission" like this maybe was more necessary then we can imagine. The 1960's was a decade filled with strong conflicts. Not just in America, but all over the world. But it was also a decade filled with heroism, love and reunion. As the Lunar Module touched the surface of the moon on this night, millions around the world watched the black- white and blurry tv-broadcast being transmitted directly from the moon surface, and from the mission control in Houston, Texas. Holding their breath, excited for what this amazing adventure could bring, not to mention what could go through a young kids mind during something like this, Armstrong, and a few minutes later, Aldrin were bouncing around on the moon, while they still tried to give some good information to the mission control room back on Earth. I can imagine it wasn't too easy :)
|Edwin Aldrin on the moon, July 20th, 1969.|
I won't talk too much about details from their mission - but, even though it was one of the most successfull missions NASA did, it wasn't all "glitch-free". They barely made the landing. As the Lunar Module (LM), touched down and Armstrong cut off the engine, they had only a few seconds time-window of fuel left. Being forced to land at a different area then planned, it was a near miss. But thankfully, they made it down, and as the Command Module pilot Michael Collins waited in orbit around the moon for his two friends to explore this magical satellite, they successfully spent twenty one and a half hours on the surface, before returning to Collins in the Command Module.
|Neil Armstrong on the moon, July 20th, 1969.|
|"We have Lift Off!" The Saturn V rocket blasting off on July 16th, with the Apollo 11 crew.|
|The Lunar Module, call signed "Eagle", above the moon as it is approaching the Command Module, "Columbia".|
On July 24th, they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, safe and as planned. Brought home by the recovery ship, the "USS Hornet", they came back to their country as heroes. And so it was well deserved! What an amazing task they had been able to complete. They gave us the first steps to a bigger world, outside our own safety zone, and known planet. They were the start of several special others, that would follow them, and give us all new knowledge, and dreams about what we can do, and how far we can go. They gave us the knowledge, that the unreachable is reachable. I still actually look up at the moon from time to time, and start thinking about these men. How it must have been like for them, to see, walk on, and touch our mystical yellow piece of cheese up there. And how it must have been for them during the travel to, and from it, and back home. There are many kind of those who we will call heroes, for me, these are some of mine. 44 years ago, they went there. Can you imagine? The equipment they had, the technology. They did it, back then! With help of course from all those many thousand others, making and building it all, and following them through the journey. But still. It's amazing. It's honorable! It's bald. And it's brave. It's such an important anniversary in the modern history of us - the mankind! Hopefully, one day, we humans will go back up there. And we will pick up the thread, that those few left behind for us. And we will once again get the crawe to explore outside our world, and outside our comfort- and safe zone.
Happy Anniversary Apollo 11! May your legacy never be forgotten.
Have A Great Weekend!
Til Next Time