That’s one small step for man….
Throughout our history books we have tales of war and woe, violence and vengeance, centuries littered with hate and greed, blood and folly. BUT, every now and then, there’s a tale that stands out as a testament to human capability, innovation and imagination. Today, the 20th of July marks the anniversary of such an event: the day that human beings set foot on the Moon.
Arriving on the Moon July at 20:18 UTC, Armstrong took his famous first step six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC, followed by Aldrin. The men spent around two and a half hours roaming the Sea of Tranquility and together they collected 21.5 kg of lunar material to bring home to Earth. The two re-joined Collins in the Command Module and they returned to Earth landing in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th. Mission accomplished.
The first Moon landing was watched by an estimated 600 million people on television and remains one of the greatest achievements of humankind. Aside from experiencing another world, the astronauts who bravely journeyed to the Moon offered us not only the perspective of the lunar surface, but our home planet as well. From out there on the Moon, the fragility and beauty of our Earth was truly captured and this sentiment is best ascribed to a less famous quote from Neil Armstrong:
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
Since the original Moon landing in 1969, 9 other astronauts have walked on the surface of the Moon; the last mission being in 1972. Over 40 years ago the human race accomplished an achievement that was arguably ahead of its time; it’s sad to think that nobody has been back since.
Photos: (1) Collage of the Moon landing images.
(2) The Earth seen from Apollo 11