To say I’m honored to be on this list of Thought Leaders from the Apollo 11 celebration at Wings over the Rockies is an understatement.
As I said to a friend yesterday, I’m a drop in the bucket in this ocean of talent. I suppose a more appropriate analogy would have been I’m a tiny star 🌟 in the infinite expanse of endless knowledge others on this list possess. Regardless of the depth of talent and amazing people I met, I’m grateful beyond words and am inspired just as Aliana is by it all.
One day left (in my time zone.) Tomorrow will be a wonderful celebration! 🚀🌕🎊
I’m caught up in the excitement of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which you know if you follow this blog. The clips of the astronauts, mission control, and Walter Cronkite are all bringing the magnitude of this accomplishment into focus for me.
I was a child in 1969 and didn’t understand why this garnered the world’s attention. Now, as an adult I understand the danger and why Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins were heroes. The very real chance of them not coming back didn’t occur to me until 1986, when I watched the Challenger disaster.
As the countdown reaches 2 days left to 7/20/19, this illustration created by Ariel Boroff to depict the big reveal in our book, demonstrates my own feeling watching all of the news footage from 50 years ago. I hope you are also filled with awe.
Five animal related facts about space so that I can share a picture of Charlie too, for his biggest fan Shalini 😊
1. Several monkeys were used in flight and space trials that did not end well. In 1959 – 10 years before Apollo 11 – a rhesus monkey named Abel and a Squirrel monkey named Baker became the first to successfully return to Earth after a 16 minute space flight. A total of 32 monkeys have been involved in space flights.
2. After humans successfully landed on the moon, animals were still part of the biological payload of missions even though they received less attention.
3. The record for dogs in space is held by the Russian dogs, Veterok and Ugolyok who orbited Earth for 22 days in 1966.
4. In 1973 two European garden spiders named Arabella and Anita spun webs aboard NASA’s Skylab for 59 days.
5. Additional varieties of animal life have been sent into space including cats, a tortoise, mice, frog eggs, and worms.
1. Apollo 11 landed on the moon 66 years after the Wright Brothers first flight.
2. Neil Armstrong was 15 years old when he had logged enough hours to fly but wasn’t old enough to get. Drivers license.
3. 12 astronauts have walked on the moon.
4, When Apollo 11 returned it only had 25 seconds of fuel remaining.
5. Apollo 11 was in space for 76 hours.
6. The round trip Apollo 11 was 240,000 miles.
1. “I knew I was alone in a way that no earthling has ever been before.” – Michael Collins
2. “I still say shoot for the moon; you might get there.” – Buzz Aldrin
3. “Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” – Neil Armstrong
4. “A geologist up here would just go crazy.” – Michael Collins
5. “Why don’t you hear these 3,500-pound rocket engines when you’re sitting on them, I’ll never know.” – Buzz Aldrin
6. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong
7. “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to Rest In Peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.” These are the opening lines of a speech prepared for Richard Nixon to be used in the event of a disaster that would maroon the astronauts on the Moon.
Eight days to go until the big day and here are eight interesting facts about Apollo 11!
1. A month before the launch, Neil Armstrong thought they had a 90% chance of safely returning to earth, but only a 50-50 chance of landing on the moon on the first try.
2. Pieces of the Wright Brothers first aircraft were onboard Apollo 11.
3. Armstrong’s first step was actually a giant leap because the bottom rung of the ladder didn’t drop and it was 3.5 feet above the moon’s surface. The “small step” came after.
4. At the same time Armstrong and Aldrin were moonwalking, a Soviet spacecraft accidentally crashed into the moon – 530 miles away.
5. Michael Collins was the third astronaut on the mission but didn’t set foot on the moon. Later he said he was worried if something went wrong, he’d be returning to Earth alone.
6. The American flag planted on the moon turned out to be a challenge. The surface was expected to be soft but it was rock hard.
7. Apollo 11’s return to Earth can be credited to a felt-tipped pen which became a circuit breaker switch when one broke.
8. Apollo 11 astronauts spent their 2 week + quarantine signing hundreds of photos as a “life insurance policy” for their families to sell if something happened to them.
These were interesting to me and I hope to you as well. I may do another fact post because there are more available. Please comment if you are interested.