Lunar Footsteps, 40 Years Ago Today

It’s been forty years since we went to the Moon! Hard to believe, isn’t it? I was mentioning memories of the lunar landing to some people the other day, and they looked at me like, What is this ancient history of which you speak? This is what I spoke of:

That’s Neil Armstrong, taking one small step for a man (which I watched on live TV, with breath sucked in and a pounding heart); and on the right, Buzz Aldrin getting his chance in the lens. And don’t miss this stunning panorama of the Lunar Module and the surrounding area, taken by Armstrong. (It’s too wide to put on this page.)

Check throughout the day for commentary from various writers (including me!) on their recollections of the historic event. Adding a somber note to the memory is the passing the other day of Walter Cronkite, with whom I watched much of the manned space program in the early years.

The one thing I never dreamed as I watched the lunar landing and exploration was that we’d go to the Moon and then not go back for at least forty years. I have guarded hope for the future.

“And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

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