Whoa, whoa, whoa! How could I forget this? How is this not a national holiday or something?
38 years ago, July 20 1969, the Eagle landed and man first set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Apollo Eleven. Tranquility Base. Isn't that a lovely name?
Ah, man. Ah, man.
This was how
many years after Sputnik? Thirteen, fourteen? Sputnik was in October 1957. Twelve years,
give or take a few months. Yuri was April 1961. Eight years
after Yuri Gaugarin was the first man in space it was possible to send others to the Moon and get them back.
How long between the Wright brothers and Apollo? The Wright brothers had the first powered flight in December 1903. Sixty-six years
, give or take x number of months. Yes, there was human flight before in gliders and balloons, but I'm choosing not to focus on those.
Two brothers who ran a bicycle shop sending one a hundred twenty feet in a precarious canvas-and-wood machine. Sixty six years later, humans got to the Moon and back. If it hadn't been for the World Wars, who knows? It could have happened sooner.
Even so. Sixty six years.
Kitty Hawk to the Moon. Amazing.
People were born and some became grandparents or great-grandparents and died in that span of time. But some few, surely, were alive for the Wright flyer and the Moon landing both. There are a smattering of people still alive today
who existed when Orville went up.
Humans sure can move fast when we really want to. Would we have done it as quickly if it hadn't been for the Soviets? Of course not. That's maybe the only good thing to come out of the Cold Wars.
(Side note- gack! Armstrong took a sliver of the Wright flyer's propellor and a bit of wing fabric with him to the Moon. This amuses me.)
They left the flag and that plaque on the Moon. You know.Here Men From The Planet Earth
First Set Foot Upon the Moon
July 1969 A.D.
We Came in Peace For All Mankind.
Why does that last line always sound kind of... sinister... to me, anyway?
It amuses me that one of them broke the circuit breaker that would make the lunar module's engine get them back off the Moon again, and so they used a pen
to trigger the switch. Nixon had a speech ready in event of disaster. I'm so glad he never had to use it.
Scroll down some.
I'm so glad that they made it back alive, and that Apollo 13 did likewise. What kind of memorial would have been made for them otherwise? I'm glad that I can speculate instead of knowing
Space travel is terrifying and fascinating at once. Just to think about it... I can't seem to put it into words. Awe, fear, joy, longing... it's a legacy.
Surfing on LJ, I found this in someone's journal. Turns out that embedding is much easier than I thought.
Lyrics are here
Compared to then... what are we doing now? My brother walked in on me reading this and didn't know what "The Eagle Has Landed" means until I reminded him. The news is filled with celebrities and politicians and videogames and books and a war we didn't really need to step into. What am I doing with my life? What is anyone
Will we ever do something that matters
To think I was excited about Halo and Harry Potter. I'll be excited again by tomorrow, sure. But for now... Sweet Guardian, the Moon.