On This Day, 53 Years Ago, America Landed a Man on the Moon

 

This is perhaps the most momentous achievement in the history of America.  To date, no other country has landed its astronauts on the Moon.  Landing ours was only the first tiny step for humanity in its journey to the stars. May it not be the last. And may America be the leader on that great quest.

God Bless America, the Greatest Country on God’s Green (and getting greener) Earth.

Published in History
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  1. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    I was watching!

     

    • #1
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    #metoo!  And there was a bit on the “space race” in an episode of the great but short-lived series Pan Am.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I watched it, too.

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    For those who missed it:

     

     

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I was staying at a house that night as a guest. It was late in the evening/early in the morning when my hostess asked me what I was watching on the only household TV in those days. I said, “They are about to land a man on the moon!” “Oh, I can’t really get excited about that kind of thing,” she said returning to her bedroom. All my life I think that is closest to the dumbest thing said in my presence. 

    • #5
  6. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Here’s a preview of an excellent documentary using only original footage.

    • #6
  7. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Seemed like it took forever to leave the capsule.  Cronkite was filling airtime chatting with some expert.  

    I had watched Alan Shepard’s flight on a small, crappy B/W TV at school while my teacher, a nun, quietly said the rosary.  The moon landing was in the summer after freshman year in college. The space program bracketed my youth.

    The 1960s were disturbing in a lot of ways.  The moon landing seemed to mean that none of that mattered–the USA is always gonna be OK and get it done in the end.

    • #7
  8. Saxonburg Member
    Saxonburg
    @Saxonburg

    We were watching on TV, but we also went outside to see it live.

    • #8
  9. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    We won that race, but then got complacent about space.  It is extremely dangerous to go into space.  I watched the Challenger explosion on TV and my first though was that it was shot down…who could have thought it was a defect in production and quality control.

    Getting our men to the Moon, and back again is one of the greatest triumphs of engineering in recorded history.  That we seem to lack the desire to repeat that feat, and do more is terribly sad to me.

    • #9
  10. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    I was too young to remember that, but I do recall watching later Apollo landings. Would have thought going to the moon would be a common thing by the time I got to this age.

    • #10
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I’m told that I watched it too, though I was too young to remember.

    I don’t think that we’re on a journey to the stars, though.  Watch Star Trek if you want, but at present, there is no prospect whatsoever of travel to the stars.  Even colonizing the Moon or Mars is likely impossible, and even if not, would be a colossal waste of money.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I’m told that I watched it too, though I was too young to remember.

    I don’t think that we’re on a journey to the stars, though. Watch Star Trek if you want, but at present, there is no prospect whatsoever of travel to the stars. Even colonizing the Moon or Mars is likely impossible, and even if not, would be a colossal waste of money.

    There’s always the possibility of “generation” type ships, although I doubt any government – or at least any existing government – would undertake that.  But Elon Musk might.

    • #12
  13. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Here’s a preview of an excellent documentary using only original footage.

    I hope they show the American flag being planted on the moon!

    • #13
  14. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    I was 13 and watched it with my family. The simulations on the networks had them landing before the Eagle did since Armstrong maneuvered over a crater. They were about four miles long.

    • #14
  15. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Seemed like it took forever to leave the capsule. Cronkite was filling airtime chatting with some expert.

    I had watched Alan Shepard’s flight on a small, crappy B/W TV at school while my teacher, a nun, quietly said the rosary. The moon landing was in the summer after freshman year in college. The space program bracketed my youth.

    The 1960s were disturbing in a lot of ways. The moon landing seemed to mean that none of that mattered–the USA is always gonna be OK and get it done in the end.

    They actually left the LEM a few hours earlier than scheduled.  Controllers called an audible to waive a “rest period” the astronauts were supposed to take after landing. 

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    We were at the beach.  Right after Armstrong stepped out onto the Moon’s surface, I ran outside to look up at the Moon . . .

    • #16
  17. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    For the first time in a long time, I’m hopeful of seeing the US return to the moon.  Not thanks to NASA,

    but thanks to Elon Musk and SpaceX.

    Hope to go to one of the upcoming launches of the Starship and it’s master booster.

    Always regretted never having seen a Saturn 5 launch…

    • #17
  18. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):
    reply

    There’s an old SF story in which a scientist working on space travel finds that he has somehow been brought by time-travel to an era hundreds of years in the future.  He is thrilled, because he assumes that the people of the future will have developed space travel to a high degree, and that he will actually be able to fulfill his dream of journeying to the planets.  ”Somewhere, out there in the night, there must be men who had walked beside the Martian canals and pierced the shining cloud mantle of Venus…Surely, a civilization that had developed time travel could reach the stars!” And he finds that  the future civilization indeed has created vehicles that would easily be capable of such exploration…but they are used only as super-airliners.  Nobody has any interest in traveling into space, indeed, they can’t imagine why anyone would want to do such a thing.  A sympathetic woman explains to the protagonist that “this is the Age of Man.  We are terribly interested in what can be done with people.  Our scientists…are studying human rather than nuclear reactions.”   There appears to be no thirst for adventure in a form likely to be recognized by a 20th-century man.  (Indeed, it seems that the reason the future people chose the protagonist as a research subject is that they found his interest in going to the moon and beyond to be so bizarre as to be worthy of psychological investigation.)  The story’s subtitle is: To the men of the future, the scientific goals of today were as incomprehensible as the ancient quest for the Holy Grail! Don Sensing suggested that the absence of space-alien visitors has a related explanation: there are quite likely worlds whose do people have the capability for very-long-distance space travel…but they invented computer games and became addicted to them, losing any desire for physical exploration. See my post Where ARE Those Space Aliens?

    • #18
  19. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    If there were another sentient species in our galaxy, they would already have found us and destroyed us. 

    • #19
  20. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    If there were another sentient species in our galaxy, they would already have found us and destroyed us.

    Why? We’d make nice pets.

    • #20
  21. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    So when did you hear that it was all a Hollywood production and nobody landed on the moon? 

    • #21
  22. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    I was too tiny to remember it when it happened, but by the time I was old enough to remember it seemed like I saw it live.  

    • #22
  23. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    If there were another sentient species in our galaxy, they would already have found us and destroyed us. 

    Alternative roles:

    –slaves
    –pets
    –a tourist attraction, featuring ‘an exotic and primitive culture’
    –artistic and scientific collaboration
    –nourishment

     

    • #23
  24. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    David Foster (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    If there were another sentient species in our galaxy, they would already have found us and destroyed us.

    Alternative roles:

    –slaves
    –pets
    –a tourist attraction, featuring ‘an exotic and primitive culture’
    –artistic and scientific collaboration
    –nourishment

     

    Friends 🙂

    • #24
  25. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    David Foster (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):
    reply

    There’s an old SF story in which a scientist working on space travel finds that he has somehow been brought by time-travel to an era hundreds of years in the future. He is thrilled, because he assumes that the people of the future will have developed space travel to a high degree, and that he will actually be able to fulfill his dream of journeying to the planets. ”Somewhere, out there in the night, there must be men who had walked beside the Martian canals and pierced the shining cloud mantle of Venus…Surely, a civilization that had developed time travel could reach the stars!” And he finds that the future civilization indeed has created vehicles that would easily be capable of such exploration…but they are used only as super-airliners. Nobody has any interest in traveling into space, indeed, they can’t imagine why anyone would want to do such a thing. A sympathetic woman explains to the protagonist that “this is the Age of Man. We are terribly interested in what can be done with people. Our scientists…are studying human rather than nuclear reactions.” There appears to be no thirst for adventure in a form likely to be recognized by a 20th-century man. (Indeed, it seems that the reason the future people chose the protagonist as a research subject is that they found his interest in going to the moon and beyond to be so bizarre as to be worthy of psychological investigation.) The story’s subtitle is: To the men of the future, the scientific goals of today were as incomprehensible as the ancient quest for the Holy Grail! Don Sensing suggested that the absence of space-alien visitors has a related explanation: there are quite likely worlds whose do people have the capability for very-long-distance space travel…but they invented computer games and became addicted to them, losing any desire for physical exploration. See my post Where ARE Those Space Aliens?

    In Douglas Adam’s “Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency”, a scientist has invented a time machine, but he only uses it to watch TV because he can’t figure out how to program his VCR. 

    • #25
  26. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    If there were another sentient species in our galaxy, they would already have found us and destroyed us.

    “Sentient” and “capable of interstellar travel” are two different things.  

    • #26
  27. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Kozak (View Comment):

    For the first time in a long time, I’m hopeful of seeing the US return to the moon. Not thanks to NASA,

    but thanks to Elon Musk and SpaceX.

    Hope to go to one of the upcoming launches of the Starship and it’s master booster.

    Always regretted never having seen a Saturn 5 launch…

    I saw four shuttle launches, three from the causeway about 6 miles from the pad. You had to write in and get a special pass to be able to get to that viewing area.  It was pretty impressive.  But I’m told it’s nothing compared to a Saturn 5.  Some ridiculously high percentage of the sound energy output of the Saturn 5 was in the subsonic/low frequency range, so it caused vibrations that had to be felt to be believed.  

    In the late 90s I chatted with an Oracle support analyst who had previously worked at KSC.   She got to see a shuttle launch from the parking lot at the VAB, about 3.5 miles from the pad.   She said it was so loud that when the vibration/sound set off her car alarm, she didn’t hear it, even though she was standing right next to it. 

    • #27
  28. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    I watched and remember it.  Just amazing. 

    Good words from Neil Armstrong too.  Besides the “small step” line, there is the “Tranquility Base hers, the Eagle has landed.”

    • #28
  29. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I watched and remember it. Just amazing.

    Good words from Neil Armstrong too. Besides the “small step” line, there is the “Tranquility Base hers, the Eagle has landed.”

    I’ve read that the Tranquility Base line confused the guys in Mission Control, because he’d never used it any of the simulations. 

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I watched and remember it. Just amazing.

    Good words from Neil Armstrong too. Besides the “small step” line, there is the “Tranquility Base hers, the Eagle has landed.”

    I’ve read that the Tranquility Base line confused the guys in Mission Control, because he’d never used it any of the simulations.

    Today it would have to be said “Tranquility base xers.”

    • #30
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