Thursday, 17 July 2014

More on Apollo 11

To follow on from yesterday:

I have a lot of strong opinions and things to say about the Apollo program and Apollo 11 in particular. When the 40th anniversary came round, I wasn't blogging here, but you can find them all on my sadly neglected LiveJournal under the apollo11 tag.

But I will paste one thing I said back then:
Learn. Teach your kids (if you have any) about what happened forty years ago (my son now has a 3' high Saturn V bought voluntarily out of his own money, and the sight of him wandering the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy in complete awe was wonderful). If you haven't, you owe it to yourself to watch one or more of Apollo 13, From The Earth To The Moon and Magnificent Desolation (if you can get to see this in IMAX 3D, as at Kennedy, it's absolutely awesome). Several of the Apollo astronauts have written (or had ghosted) autobiographies: Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Charlie Duke (I now have a signed copy of this), Al Bean, Pete Conrad, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Al Worden (a poetry book that's as rare as hens' teeth), Ed Mitchell, Jim Irwin... and also Flight Controller Gene Kranz's excellent 'Failure Is Not An Option'. Missing from that list? the main one is Neil Armstrong, though he has an authorized biography. 
We will not, should not, forget the story of the Apollo missions.
Now the rest is up to us, and there's a future to be won.   
We will turn our faces outward, we will do what must be done.
For no cradle lasts forever, every bird must learn to fly, 
And we're going to the stars - see our fire in the sky.
--- "Fire In The Sky", Jordin Kare


  1. I fully agree - as a late-50-something, I can say without hesitation that the Apollo 11 mission was the greatest event of my lifetime (so far!). Whilst serving in a small Brit contingent in a US military base in the Middle East in 2010 I was very fortunate to attend a forum of "Aviation Heroes" that were touring US bases to support the troops. This included Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan. Armstrong's voice was very weak and he appeared unwell. He tended to avoid talking about the moon landing - he mainly talked about his time as a Naval aviator and test pilot. He came across as a very modest, self- effacing man and it was a huge privilege to be in the presence of a genuine Hero.

  2. My son was watching a documentary about the Apollo programme just this morning. Both my children (17 and 19) have an appreciation for rocketry and space exploration, fortunately, but a lot of their contemporaries don't, sadly.


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