Apollo, A legacy not to be forgotten..

  

July 20th 1969 the worlds eyes are focused on 10 years of NASA’s preparation from Apollo1 to Apollo 10. Buzz aldrin converses probably the most famous conversation with his Commander Neil Armstrong:

Aldrin…”35 degree, 35 degrees/750 feet.Coming down at 23

Armstrong..“Okay”

Aldrin..“700 feet.21 down, 33 degrees

Armstrong..“Pretty rocky area”

Aldrin.. “600 feet , down at 19″

Aldrin.. “540 feet. down at …30.down at 15″ Okay you’re pegged on horizontal velocity”

Armstrong…“270 (feet) .Okay, hows the fuel?

Aldrin..“Take it down”

Armstrong..“Okay, Here’s a…looks like a good area here”

Aldrin..“I got the shadow out there”

Armstrong..“I got a good spot”

Aldrin..“100 feet.Three and a half down,nine forward. Five per cent.Quantity light”

Aldrin..“Okay. 75 feet.And its looking good.Down a half, six forward”

Capcom: “60 seconds”

Aldrin..40 feet, down two and a half. Picking up some dust”

CapCom..“30 seconds”

Aldrin..“Drifting forward just a little bit; thats good”

Aldrin..“Contact light”

Armstrong..“Shutdown”

Aldrin..“Okay engine stop”

CapCom.. “We copy you down , Eagle”

Armstrong..“Engine arm is off. Houston.Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed”

A brief conversation lasting several minutes reminds us of the importance of all those inspired declarations that were made by those involved with The Lunar project. We must remember that ” Imagination is nutritious food to every visionaries appetite”. Armstrong , Aldrin and Collins each had to have a strong appetite for imagination, for what they dreamt whilst growing up would surely hold them firm over several decades that would follow. There is in my opinion  nothing better than a focused imagination, a hunger for hard work, a powerful ear to listen, and a brave instinct to make decisions at the most vital of times.

Faith in other people is a wonderful gift, that enables ground breaking events to take place. When it all comes together successfully, it is surprisingly so, not the time then to take a breather and relax. Over 10 years of success, failure,  hard toil, sacrifice and even fear had been with Armstrong Aldrin and Collins during the Apollo Lunar build-up. Walking on the Lunar surface is more than just a statement of “We made it to the Moon”, it should inspire each of us all to believe that the things we dream about can actually happen. Neil Armstrong when he began walking down the ladder of the Lunar Module to take those famous first steps speaks these words to Cap Com. “I’m at the foot of the ladder. The LM fooftpads are only depressed in the surface about one or two inches although the surface appears to be very, very fine grained as you get close to it. Its almost like a powder. The ground mass is very fine. I’m going to step of the LM now”.

After training as a Navy pilot, working as a test pilot, being hand picked for the prestigious X15 project, and finally getting handpicked for NASA, his words are really very down to Earth. They show I think a touch of trepidation, a healthy fear of the unknown, and a man who must be in total “awe” of the whole situation. Now he would have to get himself ready for those first Lunar surface words, ” That’s one small step for man;one giant leap for mankind”. Having got to his “Great gig in the sky” he goes on to say: “The surface is fine and powdery, I can kick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers, like powdered charcoal, to the sole and sides of my boot. I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles” .

So we see that his footprint stamped on the Moon for all eternity signifies almost a statement of man’s permanentcy on that desolute lonely planet. It was indeed a giant step for mankind for back and forth we would go for another five missions stamping our claim on a planet that cannot give us anything back in return, except for the knowledge that we gained in getting there. So Mr Armstrong, Mr Aldrin and Mr Collins I salute you for reminding us that its part of our human make-up to dream, to have visions and goals that though sometimes they may seem way out of this planet, they are actually very close to the hearts of all mankind.

(c) gary royston cole

One Response to “Apollo, A legacy not to be forgotten..”

  1. Meina Says:

    Uncharacteristically, Armstrong waded into the public eye in 2010, vnoicig his strong objection to the Obama Administration’s decision to cancel NASA’s moon-oriented Constellation program. He also publicly aired his concerns about the agency’s plan to rely on American private spaceships as astronaut taxis in the wake of the space shuttle’s retirement.

Leave a Reply