Monday, July 20, 2009

The Moon

It's the 40th anniversary of the first landing by humans upon the Moon. If this is not the single greatest technical achievement of the human race, it is certainly among the top five (I'd place the Voyager probes and the Mars rovers near the top as well). It's not a thing that I really think about a lot having lived my whole life after the event and taking it rather for granted as a fact of history. But during the last few days, seeing the images again and hearing the audio again, I have been reminded of what a staggering achievement it was and how it still, decades later, towers over most other human accomplishments.

It seems like people often forget about the other Moon missions that followed the first. Apollo 11 happened a couple of years before I was born, and I remember my grandmother, with whom I spent a great deal of time as a child, relating to me her memories of it. I realized much later, however, that she was blurring together memories of several missions. She was never that interested in it in the first place (thought space was a waste of time and money), but she remembered there being a rover that the astronauts drove around in and seemed to remember that as being an element of the first (and, in her memory, only) moon landing. They didn't have a rover for Apollo 11, but they did for Apollo 15, which happened a few weeks before I was born. I found this cool clip from the Apollo 15 expedition, with video and audio. You'll hear a member of the mission quote the poet Rhysling from Robert Heinlein's "The Green Hills of Earth."

On another note, when I was picking a stock Moon-related pic to post with this entry, I simply googled for Moon landing images, and I was dismayed to find that nearly every single item that came up in the first couple pages of hits was "Moon hoax" related nonsense. I have never been able to comprehend what grim motivation or level of terminal brain damage drives those conspiracy nuts, nor how their imaginations can be so shrunken that they just can't wrap around the idea of a Moon landing. I certainly don't want to engage in a non-debate with crazy people over something so patently absurd, but I will say to any remaining living hoax proponents: you're nuts!

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Anonymous said...

Of course we went to the moon. Everyone knows that. The real conspiracy is all of the crumbling Nazi bunkers that the Apollo 11 astronauts found up there.


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