40th And 47th

Today, July 20 marks anniversaries of two cosmic milestones. The 40th anniversary of Viking 1’s historic first landing on Mars, 47 years to the day since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed Apollo 11 on the Moon. Apollo 11 served the Sea of Tranquility to wide eyed witnesses of science eclipsing fiction. In my life nothing technology has to offer comes close to emotions evoked by the dawn of space exploration. I consider every modern marvel a product of humanity’s quest to unravel our universe.

The world watched on television as Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon's surface on July 20, 1969. It was the first time humans walked another world. As he stepped onto the lunar surface, Armstrong said,

The world watched on television as Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969. It was the first time humans walked another world. As he stepped onto the lunar surface, Armstrong said, “That is one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

View full image. | First photograph ever taken from surface of Mars, by the Viking 1 lander shortly after it touched down on July 20, 1976. Image via NASA.

View full image. | First photograph ever taken from Mars’ surface, by Viking 1 shortly after it landed on July 20, 1976. One of the lander’s footpads is seen at the lower right. Image via NASA.

For the next three and a half minutes ponder The Most Astounding Fact by Neil deGrasse Tyson –

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4 thoughts on “40th And 47th

  1. Funny how events have their own personal life — depending on one’s own place in the cosmos at the time. I will forever associate One Giant Leap for Mankind with our first apartment. We were newlyweds — having been married only 7 months before. We went out with what little money we had and bought a small (12” ??) B&W TV with money we could ill afford to spend on frivolities so that we could watch the news coverage ourselves. I’ll never forget it. May not be a huge ponder for me, but it’s a jolly good memory nonetheless. Thanks.

  2. The best story of the moon landing I heard was from my best friend who now lives in Cyprus.
    He was working in his Auntie’s Hotel in Zambia and tending bar. There was no TV in those days, but the patrons were listening on the the radio.

    Harry told me that there was a big discussion/argument going on as to whether it was all a hoax, just like the radio broadcast of War of The Worlds.

    When the announcement was made that the Eagle had landed, the patrons apparently streamed out the bar to look up at the moon to see!

    Yes, I just picture the scene.

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