Happy National Moon Day
20th July – Today is a significant day in the history of space travel – 51 years ago today Apollo 11 landed on the moon and American astronaut stepped onto the lunar surface for the first time. There were a number of Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972 but really Apollo 11 in 69 is the most historic, the feat of engineering which allowed us to actually get there is something quite special. To understand the challenges even in modern times, you only have to look at Elon Musk and his efforts to create more advanced space rockets, the attention to detail is critical even windspeed half a mile out could ground an entire mission.
National Moon Day celebrates not only missions past but missions of the future, if you want to know more about the moon landing – please don’t fall down the government conspiracy rabbit hole it wasn’t a hoax – then check out some of these films and books:
- In the Shadow of the Moon (2007) directed by David Sington
- First to the Moon: The Journey of Apollo 8 (2018) directed by Paul J. Hildebrant
- One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman
- A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin
- Hidden Figures by Margo Lee Shetterly
To live in a time where we can explore space is magical and it is fascinating observing the International Space Station and how we are now slowly starting to work together to improve space exploration. The NASA mission to Mars is now in their sights with Elon Musks help they are on course to finally land a manned vehicle and explore the area rather than relying on an unmanned craft to do our work for us.
The race continues and NASA is determined to get there before everyone else and when they do we will all reap the benefits of the knowledge and no doubt other space agencies will benefit from the extensive research and development which has been going on over the last three decades or so. I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour and hopefully some martian-esque type situations.
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