Thursday, July 18, 2019

lunar landing

Fifty years ago today, Apollo 11 was on its way to the moon, and we all know what happened to it next. To get a little ahead of the anniversary, here's what I wrote about it several years ago in commemoration of Neil Armstrong:

Yes, I watched the lunar landing, and Armstrong and Aldrin's walkabout, on TV. I did so more because I knew it was a historic event, unprecedented and sure to be remembered, than because I really wanted to see it. (And I had trouble making out the famous words.) I was supportive of the space program, but I didn't follow it with obsession or in detail. It was less captivating than it now sounds. I have to remind people who only know the lunar landing program from the recent movies and TV dramatizations that the real thing had much poorer video, everything took a lot longer to happen, and there was no stirring music behind it. That makes a difference. These were engineering test flights, really, and the patriotic symbolism sat a bit uneasily atop them. That, I'm sure, was Armstrong's view.

And for anyone minded to believe it was a hoax, there's this little tv sketch.

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