Apollo 11 — 40 years later

Neil Armstrong descending the ladder for the first "small step" on the moon. Credit: NASA

I was eight years old when Apollo 11 went to the moon, and was glued to the television every step along the way (with the reporting of Walter Cronkite). I watched the first step on the moon on our black and white television. When there was a break, I ran over to a friend’s house—one who had a color television—only to discover that the pictures were still black and white.

Thankfully, the astronauts had color cameras with them, and were able to bring home better shots:

Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Credit: NASA
Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Credit: NASA

Grace and Peace

8 thoughts on “Apollo 11 — 40 years later

  1. Matt Strid

    Did you hear that NASA lost thier original footage? They went to digitally restore it, and it wasn’t there. Apparently they embarked on a program a few years back of recycling all thier tape, and the moon landing was in the mix.

    Fortunately there are archivers at CBS that are worth thier salary who kept it all, so nothing as been truly “lost”. But as an amateur historian, it offends me that they can be so cavalier about such momentus occasions.


  2. WebMonk

    If I correctly remember a story from earlier, apparently the video that the networks ran was a video of a video.

    Something about the available machines and formats weren’t ready to have the lunar landing videos transferred to the right media for the TV studios to use, so they ran the video on a screen, and the network cameramen took videos of the screen.


  3. WebMonk

    I’m hoping for a moon base before I die. It’s a really cheap goal compared to the massive expenditures being pumped out these days. It’s a potential cornucopia for new technologies and capabilities across the board. It’s a huge stepping stone toward technologies we can only estimate, but which will be hugely beneficial to all.

    Chance of that actually happening in the next 20 years? Slim to none. In the next 50 years – likely.


  4. Matt Strid

    @Webmonk – The Constellation Program’s stated goal is to have returned to the moon by 2015 with extended exploration by 2020. I doubt that’s a moon “base” but its a good step toward upping your time table of 50 years. Seems like 30 years could be possible.


  5. Richard

    Our local “Christian” radio station has been broadcasting Jim Zelonka, of “Cultivate Ministries,” who spent a week of air time on his program recently claiming the Moon landing was a fraud perpetrated on us by our Government. You just can’t make this stuff up. Zelonka is a dispensationalist–big surprise.


  6. Webmonk

    I’ve never heard Zelonka, but his name comes up in the same sort of grouping as Harold Camping. Camping isn’t so conspiracy theorist, he’s just a nutty theorist. Lots and lots of end-of-the world predictions, none of which have come true yet. I think his next one is 2011 or 2013 or something – coming up relatively soon.

    I would be interested to know if Zelonka also goes in for 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. I have a pet theory that the personality types that get attracted to conspiracy theories are attracted to the general concept as much as a specific topic. So, conspiracy theorists will generally accept lots of them within a certain range.

    The 9/11 certainly falls within the government cover-up sort of theory that the faked moon landing falls in. I’m gonna guess he believes in both.


  7. Richard

    Webmonk–you are absolutely on target with Zelonka–he believes Pres Kennedy was assassinated as part of a conspiracy; he thinks 911 was a conspiracy by our Government–and the same with the Oklahoma bombing.


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