July 20, 1969: Following a decades-long pursuit of monetary and intellectual energy for a once-in-a-lifetime moment of unrivaled ingenuity, coupled with the bravery of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, the United States successfully landed a man (well, three men) on the moon.
“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Still an astonishing achievement 50 years later.
As part of the celebration and necessary reminder of that historic journey into the ever-expansive and unforgiving darkness of space, let’s recall the presidential charge given by John F. Kennedy back in 1962.
Interestingly, my parents attended the “JFK Space Summit” at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum on June 19, 2019. One of the panels, “NASA: From the Moon to Mars 7 Beyond” featured Apollo 11 Lunar Command Module pilot Michael Collins. Moreover, Douglas Brinkley signed copies of his new book American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race. My parents bought one of those signed books, which they will hopefully allow me to borrow so I can learn in-depth facts of that amazing journey as chronicled by a New York Times bestselling author.
Listening to President Kennedy’s unambiguous message to Americans is still an astonishingly ambitious — and uniquely American — declaration more than 50 years later.
While there is a long list of awe-inspiring films made about space with a certain reliance on realism– ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Gravity,’ ‘Apollo 13,’ ‘The Right Stuff’ — the documentaries and based-on-real-events’ film ‘First Man’ about the famed Apollo 11 mission take on a different gravity of storytelling.
CNN’s ‘Apollo 11’ documentary along with the July 12th-release of the documentary ‘Armstrong’ that is narrated by the quintessentially rebellious American voice of Harrison Ford celebrates and takes us back to how that triumphant mission came together for this country as well as mankind.
Here is the trailer for ‘Armstrong.’
According to reviews, ‘Armstrong’ does not live up to fellow 2019 documentary ‘Apollo 11’ or the major motion picture ‘First Man’ yet it still provides insights into the man who seemed destined to help perform the moonshot of all moonshots.
On that note, what will be America’s next “moonshot”?
There will be no shortage of ideas in the coming week as we celebrate the Apollo 11 mission that was a giant leap 50 years ago, forever holding a unique space in human history.
Mankind first walked on the moon on July 20, 1969, by way of American astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. In 2019, NASA is beginning to plan how mankind will, well, see for yourself…
NASA’s ambition, as displayed in its video declaration seen above, is American ingenuity at its finest.
“We are going.”
Have a Better Week Than Last Week.
What is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) up to these days?
Whether 2001: A Space Odyssey, Apollo 13, Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian or the forthcoming First Man, Hollywood has piqued movie-going audiences into the vast realities and fantastical possibilities of space.
Sorry, a side note:
The older I get, the more I’m amused at the sheer simplicity of calling the ever-complex and unknown space “space.”
“What’s up there with the infinite stars, planets, moon, sun and all-around cosmic mystery?”
I digress. And so does NASA.
What highly-technical, mind-blowing innovations and life-altering journeys are being planned by NASA for this year and beyond?
Things…on a To-Do list.
For around a year, I’ve been waiting for a particular package to arrive. Patiently…waiting. No, it wasn’t late. This time, the package just took a while, and for legitimate reasons. The contents of which were going to be amazing and, honestly, out of this world when opened.
Well, at least a spectacular replica of something that was literally sent out of this world 40 years ago.
And this package arrived today!
As expected, the book, the albums and the disc sleeves are spectacularly designed and produced. It’s surreal to receive such a cool piece of history in the mail, courtesy of a Kickstarter campaign.
The fundraising and reward-based company Kickstarter has been good to a lot of innovators, dreamers and customers (like me) over the past several years. Thanks to Kickstarter, I’ve ridden a real-life hoverboard (no wheels, but an actual hoverboard that hovered above the ground in Silicon Valley), possess a limited edition board game inspired by Christopher Nolan’s epic film Inception (that came inside a silver briefcase) and can now play NASA’s famed Golden Records on a turntable and/or digitally.
If the Golden Record was re-recorded with a few new songs, images and earthly sounds today, one specific thing comes to mind above all the worthy contenders…
the B-movie masterpiece Independence Day.
Just as a nice reminder, in case the aliens ever got any ideas.