Remembering the Apollo 11 moon landing, 45 years ago today


#1

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#2

Maybe the moon landing seems unreal to many people, such as myself (unreal as in strange, not fictional) because we haven’t went back in so long.

Why did we stop going to the Moon? I would have loved to see better and better documentation of journeys back and forth to our most glorious satellite.

(hash tag) forgetMarsfornowGobacktotheMoon


#3

What a perfect summer – the album cover for the Dead’s Aoxomoxoa (wink-wink), Driver’s Ed, and ::MEN ON MOON::


#4

I would aim to get a space station at the Earth-Moon L1 point first, before trying for the moon again.


#5

Some controversy has surrounded Neil Armstrong’s first words as he stepped on the moon. In particular, people argue over whether he said, “One small step for a man,” or “One small step for man.” Recent analysis of the original NASA recordings by the Audio and Acoustic Sciences Laboratory at MIT has recently resolved the issue, finding that the original recordings of Armstrong (as well as Aldrin, and Mission Control) show evidence of extensive dubbing post-flight. The actual material has only come to light in the past few days. Enjoy: http://vimeo.com/45991811


#6

Public interest waned, basically. The last three Apollo missions (18, 19, and 20) were cancelled despite the rockets already having been built. These days we couldn’t even build a Saturn V. We’d have to design and test a new rocket.


#7

I wasn’t even born. :frowning:


#8

That, and the sport of moon landing changed a bit. Landing on the moon started as a race; after the U.S. won that race, the Apollo program turned into a football game. Low(er) TV ratings for 13 – and its nail-biting risks – made future missions less of a PR slam-dunk (sorry for the mixed metaphor). And, Nixon had come to town, trying to balance a costly war, inflation, and Great Society deficits – NASA turned into yet another political football.

Early in 1970, adjusting to reduced budgets, the Apollo 20 mission was scrubbed, its launch vehicle repurposed for carrying up Skylab. Later that year, 18 and 19 were scrubbed ($$). Nixon wanted to scrub 'em all after 15, but Caspar Weinburger (of all people!) talked him out of it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For those who weren’t aboard the planet yet when Apollo 11 flew, the only parallels I can think of for the Earth-wide attention paid to the event would be…the Challenger disaster and 9/11. Just about everyone on Earth who had access to a TV or radio was tuned in that day; there were few thoughts given to anything else. There was an actual sense of worldwide good will for this thing to be a success – hundreds of millions of variations on “C’mon you guys, make this thing work!” were uttered, thought, prayed. I was in a room with about 20 others for touchdown and the interminable wait for Neil to come down the ladder; I’ve never heard the equal of everyone’s cheers – and joyful sobs – when boot hit dust. The adults were ecstatic; they all agreed that only VE Day was sweeter. Us kids were just stoned from it – we knew that the future was ours, and this new world was our frontier…

It’s also hard to overstate the role that Walter Cronkite played here in the States. This guy was more trusted to get it right than Santa Claus, and there could be no finer emcee for the grand Apollo 11 show. He was the one who had held our hand and kept us from losing our shit during that awful stretch of time following those goddamned shots in Dallas, and you actually felt good for your friend Walter when he “slipped” on-air with his “Whew…boy” moment after Armstrong did his thing. Something about that moment with Walter really helped close the circle of Kennedy’s public legacy, tragedy to triumph.


#9

What happened to the moon landings? just like the replies to this topic. no one cared. We won. we beat the russians. done and done. :frowning:

Btw, my dad woke me up, 5 days before my 5th birthday, to watch this. first, there was a commercial for Alka Seltzer, Speedy singing “plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is” i stood next to our B&W RCA TV in my footie pajamas singing along, then we watched Neil Armstrong step on the moon.

my dad filmed me with his 8mm movie camera, watching the TV.

I remember being filled with a sense of wonder and amazement that we could DO anything as a country. Kids wanted to be astronauts and scientists. We wanted to invend stuff and DO things.

now, of course, we cannot get back to the moon, we gave up our civil rights at the airport, and we stand by to watch and complain as police dressed as army guys beat our citizens. Now kids want to be pop culture stars, and only a few (makers) actually DO anything anymore.

Hooray for progress.


#11

And, for best director…Stanley Kubrick, the Apollo 11 “Moon Landing”!


#12

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