For All Mankind
Forty years ago today, July 20th, 1969, NASA's Apollo 11 mission successfully put the first man, specifically Neil Armstrong, on the surface on the moon.
Armstrong was joined in his exploration of the moon's dusty surface by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, while Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins remained in orbit aboard the Columbia. The lunar bound mission commenced with the launch of the Saturn V rocket on July 16, 1969, and some four days later President John F Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 1960s was fulfilled. A famous aspiration he had expressed during his speech given before a joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."
There's a wealth of great video material on the ReelNASA channel on YouTube which is certainly marking today with a lot of amazing features! This is a wonderful resource collection for anyone looking to remember the history of NASA's accomplishments or to learn more about these missions for the first time. The general public doesn't quite follow the exploits of the work NASA continues to do in space, but here's hoping an anniversary such as this may ignite some new imaginations regarding the possibilities in space that still lay ahead for all of humankind.
Also NASA has a feature on its site photographically documenting the Apollo missions by use of a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The LRO went into its lunar orbit June 23 and captured the photos of the Apollo sites between July 11 and 15.
Finally, for anyone interested in celebrating the day in true cinephile fashion, Turner Classic Movies is showing a variety of "Moon" related films to honor the occasion all day long. I highly recommend the prime time showing tonight of director Al Reinert's 1989 documentary, For All Mankind. It airs at 8:15PM. Also recommended is Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff (1983), then at 10:00PM. The prime time segment tonight also features introductions by TCM host Robert Osborne with special guest host, Buzz Aldrin.
Hey, it's Bill here. Great post, Joe. I just wanted to add a couple of things.
Just look at that picture and all it implies. The entire history of mankind could be summed up in that one single picture. Curiosity. Technology. Science. Striving. Bravery. Sacrifice. It's simply breathtaking when you really think about it.
And then there's this, for you old-timers:
Heh heh heh.