Sunday, July 21, 2013
Happy 44th Anniversary Apollo 11 Moonlanding
About 4 am on 21 July Australian Eastern Standard Time in 1968, Apollo 11 Lunar Lander Eagle touched down in the Sea of Tranquillity on the Moon. At 12.56 pm the famous Moonwalk began watch by this school boy, amongst millions of others.
At 4 am this morning I was asleep, I wasn't even visiting the Moon in my dreams (I was at a cafe with my family in my dream, eating soup). At 12:56 I was returning from transporting EldestOne to a remote bowling alley, still not thinking of the Moon landing (thinking more "will this giant truck crush me").
Still, I've had some time to reflect. In the 44 years since that boy watched the Moon walk transfixed by the flickering black and white image (bought to you by the Parkes radio telescope) a lot has changed. Only yesterday a large number of earthlings waved at a spacecraft around Saturn, and we have the images today.
Voyager 1 has almost left the solar system. New Horizons is almost at Pluto. We have landed spacecraft on Asteroids and blown a hole in a comet.
Opportunity has been roving Mars for longer than we sent humans to the Moon. And the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent back pictures of the abandoned landing stages on the Moon.
The Moon landing was not the first of humanities steps into space, nor will it be our last, but it was certainly the most dramatic, and etched itself forever into my mind. 44 years ago a boy couldn't sleep for the excitement of seeing humans on the Moon. Today, somewhere in the world other children are sleepless with excitement over what we are accomplishing today, that's a fine legacy for our Moon walkers.