It’s 40 years ago today that man first stepped onto another world. While Michael Collins orbited the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended the last 60 miles in the Lunar Excursion Module for the first Moon landing. The world watched and held it’s breath while Neil descended the ladder of the LEM. He paused to check how far the ladder had gone into the surface of the Moon which was only a couple of inches and not the several feet that one scientist had predicted.
Then he stepped down onto the surface of the Moon and uttered those now immortal words “That’s one small step for man….one giant leap for mankind.” Buzz Aldrin followed him as the second man to walk on the Moon, one of only 12 men to do so.
On the September 12th 1962 at Rice University, John F. Kennedy made what’s become known as his “We choose to go to the moon” speech.
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win……..
It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.”
This day 40 years ago on the 20th July 1969 that dream came true, and the world has never been the same since. This other world exploration gave people hope and let them feel that anything was possible. Over the years since then that hope seems to have melted away as the harsh realities of life and war and economics took hold.
But now there’s talk of new Moon landings. Space exploration hasn’t been forgotten. At this moment the International Space Station is orbitting the Earth with the Space Shuttle Endeavour docked to it. There are a record 13 astonauts above us. They are continuing to enlarge and build the space station where astronauts from different countries work together to experiment and push the boundaries of science.
This photo is my tribute to today’s historic events and is also on my Flickr photostream. I created it using a Vintage Lego Space Crater Moon Base Plate No. 305.