USA astronaut Neil Armstrong said those exact words 43 years ago, July 20, 1969. On that day, millions around the world watched as Armstrong took his first steps on the moon, the first person in history. He was followed by astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Of course, we cannot forget Michael Collins, the third astronaut who didn’t step on the moon, but provided support through the command module. Together, these three men of Apollo 11 fufilled a dream, and a challenge, set forth by President Kennedy.
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win . . . ”
President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962
Kennedy’s challenge would lead to six more Apollo missions, five successful. The project ended after Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan completed their moon mission in December 1972. Since then, no one has been back.
There is a lot of discussion among politicans and the public regarding whether or not to return to the moon. One theory is the USA will return sometime around 2025 or 2030 as a first step, before going on a manned mission to Mars. Of course, there are a lot of years between now and then, and with money tight right now, who knows what will happen. It is still intriguing to me, knowing there is so much undiscovered outside of this world. What could we find? Satellites, rovers and telescopes do not even “scrape the surface.”
Check out the NASA website for a lot of cool information on the Apollo 11 anniversary and upcoming space events. And, if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them or find the information for you. Until then, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more from Beyond the Forecast…
This post was written by Nick Grunseth on July 20, 2012