Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"That's one small step for man..."

" giant leap for mankind." --Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969

Today is the 36th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, Apollo XI (which deserves Roman numerals more than the so-called Super Bowls). I watched the indistinct image of Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon, during that summer of '69, on the TV at my parents' house, at the impressionable age of 9. I read books about the space program and built a plastic model of the Columbia command module and the Eagle lunar excursion module (LEM). I knew almost everything about the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. I had the G.I. Joe space capsule set. I watched every episode of Star Trek, most of them more than once, and marveled at 2001: A Space Odyssey. I read The Martian Chronicles, Dune, and the Foundation trilogy.

And now, in 2005, what else, but Google Moon.

In a country that became blasé about sending men to the moon, which used to be an expression of the impossible ("Sure, when they send a man to the moon!"), it's good to take a step back and remember that we Americans are capable of greatness. God bless America.

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