Saturday, 25 August 2012

First Man on the Moon

Neil Armstrong

"Neil Armstrong has died, aged 82. In 1969, he commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the first ever to reach the moon. As he became the first person to walk on the moon's surface, he famously said, "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind". His family released a statement: "Next time you walk outside on a clear night & see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil & give him a wink." NBC News, Saturday 25th August

"In March 2012, the press-shy Armstrong gave a rare interview in which he recalled his historic visit to the moon, the dangers of training to be an astronaut, the inspiration for his famous remarks upon landing, and more." See the interview here.

Image of the Earth rising over the Moon's horizon

"It is one of the few events of the 20th century that stands any chance of being widely remembered in the 30th. Despite its origins in Cold War paranoia and nationalist rivalry, Mike Collins recalls in interviews a brief moment of global unity: “People, instead of saying ‘you Americans did it’, they said ‘we—people—did it’. I thought that was a wonderful thing. Ephemeral, but wonderful.” Perhaps the most unexpected consequence of the moon flights was a transformation of attitudes towards Earth itself. Space was indeed beautiful, but it was beauty of a severe, geometrical sort. Planets and stars swept through the cosmos in obedience to Isaac Newton’s mathematical clockwork, a spectacle more likely to inspire awe than love. Earth was a magnificent contrast, a jewel hung in utter darkness, an exuberant riot of chaos and life in a haunting, abyssal emptiness. The sight had a profound effect on the astronauts." Read the rest of The Economist's obituary for Neil Armstrong here.

Neil Armstrong's footprint, on the Moon. NASA says that
the print will remain for up to a million years, as there is
no wind to blow it away (image source: BBC)

Read Jeremy Thomas' article on the Past, Present and Future of US Space Exploration.

See Daniel Rollins' article about the recent Mars landing here.

Read about the recent discovery of a new galaxy here.

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