Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Small Almost-Forgotten Step

So this is how far we’ve come, or not come … today was the 41st anniversary of a human’s first step on the moon. And I, geekiest of space flight geeks in my childhood circle of friends, forgot it. And so, apparently, did everyone else because I did not see one mention of it in any news source I stumbled across.

It was probably on the traditional network newscasts; I didn’t happen to see them. But it was nowhere to be found on my daily and nightly channel surfing and web hopping. I remembered because a Facebook friend mentioned it.

As a kid in 1969, I watched the launch of Apollo 11 on all the channels (there were only three channels then, really). I watched the endless, boring coverage of the four-day flight there; boring because there was not continuous live camera coverage from the space craft. I listened to the radio transmission from the astronauts as they were coming in for a landing, Buzz Aldrin calling out flight data, but had no clue till much later that they were nearly out of fuel as they touched down. And I watched the live coverage of Neil Armstrong as he took one small step onto the lunar surface. I even took a few pictures of my TV at that moment (I know they’re around here somewhere).

And today I almost let the entire day pass without remembering or acknowledging this historic day.

The command module from that flight is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Maybe I’ll visit it this week.

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