Tag Archives: Apollo program

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle. Image width: 282 meters (about 925 ft.)

This 40th anniversary brings back memories. My family had no TV then – a lot of New Zealanders didn’t. And anyway with a young family we had built-in entertainment.

But the sixties were a heady time for space exploration. Of course the moon landings were horribly tinged with the cold war “space race”. National prestige and military/political motives were foremost. However, one cannot deny the important scientific advances made by these landings and the other space exploration occurring that decade. As Neil deGrass Tyson points out science has often had to piggyback on exploration made for seemingly mercenary interests.

I have clear memories of the Sputnik launch, Gagarin‘s flight and the first detailed photos from the first soft-landing on the moon by a Soviet craft. I can also remember those in the early sixties who wrote books and newspaper articles claiming that their was a civilisation of the other, so far unseen, side of the moon. Seems incredibly stupid – but we seem to have just as many cranks these days.

Continue reading