Beau July 20th, 2009
Do you ever tire of looking up at the moon? I saw it early yesterday morning, rising above the trees- outlined firmly with a bright crescent slice to one side. I took a few pictures… too juggly to post, but fun to try.
I watched a little last night about the 40th anniversay of the moon landing. What an event that was! Do you remember where you were? I was a little guy, no older than my son at eight. We were living in California for a couple years, and I remember all the family were gathered around a small 13 inch black and white television. Everyone was talking and laughing and I was trying very hard to listen to the narration… and then conversation drifted away, and we all watched in silence as Neil Armstrong took that Giant Leap off the moon lander.
A great moon landing celebration from Google- You can even explore the moon in Google Earth.
It’s amazing that we haven’t been back, and to me that a lot of folks still think it was all a ruse. One of my grandmothers didn’t believe it for an instant that we traveled all the way to the moon. “Can you imagine!” I still hear her saying, “They say they went and landed on the moon… bah!” I laughed inwardly at her convictions, and respected her devotion to them. But I also didn’t doubt that we did land on the moon for a second however, and maybe that was one of my first encounters with an adult disbelieving something about other adults, and that I thought quite rational and nearly self-evident with a little research.
Apollo 17 was the last manned spaceflight and exploration of the moon in December, 1972. The crew explored more than 21 miles of the lunar surface, collecting over 100 pounds of moon rocks and spent more than 22 hours on three surface excursions. It still boggles my mind to think of what we did over 36 years ago- the dreams, the inspiration, the engineering achievements. The costs are incredible, but then so are the offshoots to my mind. Ten years from now, we may go back to the moon, and the dreams of other generations will be fired once again.
My favorite moon photo is the famed NASA shot above of the earth hanging in the lunar “sky”… a distant orb of humanity. If you put yourself there… and dwell for a few moments on the enormity of it all, it is quite humbling. What must that have felt like to walk on the moon?! Puts a lot into perspective about this big ball we live on.