May 5, 2012

Apollo 11 Landing A Day The World Must Never Forget

On July 16, 1969 more than a million Americans gathered in Florida to witness the first ever launch of a rocket to go to the moon with the aim to land. The launch was successful and on July 20 the Eagle unlatched from the mother ship the Columbia before it slowly descended to the surface of the moon. Collins would circle the moon as arguably the most unfortunate human being that date. So close and yet he could not even see the landing from his position.

Neil Armstrong bypassed the computer once he saw the landing site had boulders on it and steered the eagle to a better landing site. Later that night Armstrong backed out of the hatch and went down the ladder. On Earth people stood and watch in airports, bus terminals and at home, hotels and anywhere they could. After taking a few pictures and taking samples of rocks and dust, Aldrin joined him.

They set up the flag then had an interview with President Nixon before continuing with their work. By this time, 500 million people across the world watched every step they took. When was time to go back into the lunar model Armstrong handed the boxes with specimens, 21.7 kilograms of rock and soil to Aldrin. On July 21 they returned to the Columbia and on July 24 they splashed down in the Pacific. On board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet they were whisked into a special quarantine trailer and treated as though they had a plague instead of being heroes. Only after 21 days of confinement, the scientists released them.

Striving to understand the past makes humans observers of our environment. The space above us is one place where we find the most information and the moon as the closest other special body was the first we visited. Next will probably be Mars and from there we can only guess. However, July 20 1969 will always be a moment we can never forget. This moment and the return to Earth showed us that the more we dream the more we can find. This includes knowledge left for us under the ground and in art forms by our ancestors.

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