Fifty years ago today. On July, 20th, 1969 at 10:56pm EDT, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon and became the man who uttered the immortal line that everyone who watched it on their black & white televisions or who has seen it since on broadcasts of the events knows.
I can't remember where I was at the time of the moon landing, but I was 14 years old and living in Montreal, and I do remember sitting in my family's living room on a very hot day and watching the historical moment late at night (my mom let me stay up late for this world history making event) on the family's black & white tv set. Being in love with astronomy at the time, I *had* to watch this happening, even if the images were grainy and the sound was typical of the time, full of the buzz and time delay of the words being spoken on the Moon and coming back to the Earth and its waiting, breathless population. I remember dreaming at the time of lunar cities and further jaunts into the solar system, colonies on Mars, that sort of thing. Everything that science fiction had theorized in various tales, though I knew that I wasn't fated to be able to go to the Moon or Mars...much as I wanted to.
It's fifty years later, and we all know how *that* turned out. Man hasn't been back to the Moon a lot since, and that colony on Mars is something of a pipe dream these days, I guess, but back then it was a time of hope, a time of dreaming of a bright future in space. However, that doesn't diminish the accomplishment of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins n the least. Years later in an interview, Armstrong praised the hundreds of thousands of people who worked on the project, and he couldn't have been more right. It was a huge team effort. One for the ages. And one to be remembered for all time.
July 20th, 1969: One Giant Leap for Mankind