First Steps: Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11, descending the ladder on the lunar module on July 20, 1969, at 10:56 pm EDT; Buzz Aldrin, the lunar module pilot, followed 15 minutes later. That event was viewed by an estimated 450 million people, then about 15 per cent of the world’s population. This is a polaroid image of slow scan television monitor at Goldstone Station. .
Photo Credit: NASA; NASA image S69-42583
I do remember the excitement of the moon landing and the moon walk, on that Sunday 50 years ago, which our family watched on our large wooden box black & white TV, having a prominent place in our living room. For many, it was a period of optimism, in pushing of boundaries, not only physically but also mentally; it was a good time for a 11-year-old boy to be alive.
Later on things in my mind would change. My awareness of the war, the civil rights movement, and workers rights, and the women’s liberation movement would increase my understanding of freedom and individual dignity. There is no denying freedom’s importance, whose importance increases when there is less of it.
For that brief moment in time, however, I wanted to be an astronaut; I wanted to work for NASA. Neither happened, but I did end up as an engineer, having taken many science courses in college and in university. The moon program was a good part of the inspiration. Then I moved away from it altogether after I learned more about the fundamentals of freedom as I grew older, and the space program was understood in a different light.
For more on my thoughts of that day, go [here].