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Monday, July 20, 2009

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.

First this:

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.

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At 7/20/2009 5:36 PM, Blogger Steve said...

No moon landing discussion is complete without Buzz Aldrin's take on moon landing conspiracy guys.

At 7/20/2009 7:16 PM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

A rat done bit my sister Nell


At 7/20/2009 7:18 PM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

Oh, and I remember that day well.

At 7/20/2009 10:01 PM, Anonymous runescape money said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/21/2009 2:39 AM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

runescape money said...I hope Buzz isn't losing his mind. The whole space program is a boondoggle and has to be scrapped. It is 100% useless and a waste of taxpayers' money.
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You know "runescape money", I'd be more open to your opinions and arguments if you wouldn't have dumped your ad in my comments section. Begone.

At 7/21/2009 7:35 AM, Blogger tom said...

The beautiful thing about that footprint is that, barring lunar quakes and the odd meteorite, it'll be there long after we are gone. I couldn't ask for a better memorial for humanity.

As for boondoggles -- like your computer? Like most modern medical technology? The benefits we reap from the space program are incalculable, up to and including ultimately perhaps finding more homes for humanity and cutting the link between our fate and that of our sun. Taxpayers who balk at supporting the space program are shortsighted at best and moronic at worst.

At 7/22/2009 7:58 AM, Blogger evilkitty36 said...

I just want some of that cheese that the moon is made of! Why didn't they bring some back??

On an honest note, The moon landing was an amazing thing. But I think going in to space is much more exciting.


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