I watched man walk on the moon yesterday. And I cried.
Why did watching a man walk on the moon almost 50 years ago make me cry?
OK, I was a little emotional after having a tummy bug for the seventh day in a row – woe is me – but …
Context: the eldest and I were crook on the couch again yesterday and if I had to watch another rerun of a kids’ TV show I was going to scream, so I headed to JB for the three-for-two DVD special.
One of my purchases was The Dish.
The Dish is a gorgeous movie. It’s the sort of Aussie film making I adore. Tom Long was divine … actually all the acting was divine.
It kinda blew my mind being reminded that a year after I was born in 1968, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
Man. Landed. On. The. Moon.
I. Was. Born. In. The. 60s.
Well, two men walked on the moon, and one poor bastard had to wait in the spaceship for 21 hours for his fellow astronauts to return.
Though he was apparently too busy being terrified to be annoyed.
According to The Guardian: “All three astronauts believed there was a real chance such a disaster would occur. Armstrong thought his prospects were only 50-50 of making it back to Earth. And so did Collins, the pilot of Columbia [the bloke left behind] and one of the world’s most experienced aviators.
“Nor were the astronauts alone. Richard Nixon, then US president, had even prepared a speech that he would deliver in the event of the Eagle’s engine failing. ‘Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace,” it ran. “These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.'”
I hadn’t really thought about how equally amazing it was that not only did man land on the moon but he actually got back to Earth again.
Collins wrote a note while he waited for his astro mates that said: “”My secret terror for the last six months has been leaving them on the Moon and returning to Earth alone; now I am within minutes of finding out the truth of the matter. If they fail to rise from the surface, or crash back into it, I am not going to commit suicide; I am coming home, forthwith, but I will be a marked man for life and I know it.”
I digress … bloody Google … so damn fascinating, so many rabbit holes …
I’d seen The Dish before, but I’d forgotten how totally cool it was that the telescope in Parkes, in NSW, got to be the location that broadcast the actual images of man landing on the moon.
But the thing that really blew my mind was that almost 50 years ago NASA was bold and brave enough to do something so incredible.
(I was about to say I wish I’d been born a bit earlier so I could have watched it all first-hand … but, no, I don’t … I’m having enough trouble coping with the slack skin that comes with being 47.)
And they’ve NEVER done it again. Not in five decades. Not with all the advances in technology. Bizarro.
I also gave the eldest a lecture on how kids becoming obsessed with computers and ipads and gaming has dulled their creativity and imagination – made their brains dysfunctional – and how it was much better for kids’ brains when they got outdoors.
She nodded sagely and said: “Exactly! That’s why I should go camping in the bush with Claudia in the school holidays.”
Damn. She’s smart that one.
The idea of a no-parents camping expedition – more like a glorified slumber party over her friend’s back fence – was raised a few weeks ago. I was all namby-pamby-I’m-not-sure-about-that, but she’s been doggedly chipping away at me ever since.
And she got me. She got me good.
Song of the day: Tom Hadfield “Space Oddity”