Sunday, July 20, 2008
July 20, 1969
Today marks the thrity-ninth anniversary since man first walked on the moon's surface.
I remember this as a time of big excitement. The space program was of great interest in my family.
The Apollo 11 moon landing happened to coincide with our summer vacation plans. We were tent campers--none of this RV stuff for us! Because we didn't want to miss the event, we brought along our small table-top tee-vee. That necessitated us having to pay a whole buck-fifty extra to have a "hook-up" at Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
Earlier in the day, we had visited Lambeau Field in Green Bay in hopes of seeing some training camp. I guess things weren't happening that day, because we didn't see anything. My sister and I had made autograph books and everything!
We set up our camp and watched the landing. It was pretty cool to see.
I know there's the ISS going on now, but it just seems a shame to me that there's not all that gee-wiz excitement any more about the space program, such as it is (or isn't). A couple years ago, Buzz Aldrin was doing a book signing at Borders that we went to. It was really freaky to see him and realize that HE WALKED ON THE FUCKING MOON!
Dale is a space program kid. His dad worked on the Apollo program designing ALSEP--Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package. We saw the mockup of it at The Cosmosphere in Huchinson, Kansas (which weirdly, is also his dad's birthplace). He also "ran into" (literally) Neil Armstrong when he was temping at Aerospace Corp. (Dale, not Neil)
I drive past a Boeing facility (the old Douglas plant in Long Beach) on my way to work. A while back they had a nice billboard facing the freeway with an image of the lunar footprint and a tagline with something about making a "first step" and "quality". It always got me inspired to do a good job that day. (I know, I'm lame!) I have worked on things that are in space, so that's pretty cool. (The billboard is now for Bacardi Rum, so you know how my day goes! J/K!!)
Here's an interesting observation on the demise of the space program.
Last year I saw a cool movie "In The Shadow of the Moon", a documentary on the moonwalkers. Here's my post about it.