Date
23 November 2017
A bootprint left by Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
A bootprint left by Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Being there: The moon landing 45 years on

Few have followed in their footsteps but 45 years later there’s at least one way to imagine what it was like to be there.

The US Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is reliving via Twitter the eight-day Apollo 11 mission that first sent humans to the moon on July 20, 1969. The tweet feed goes beyond the well-trodden “giant step” phrase uttered by NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong to reveal some of the more telling details of those first moments on the lunar surface. 

Buzz Aldrin, who was also along for the three-man space ride that also included Michael Collins, observes that the engine from the lunar module left no crater in the moon’s surface and Armstrong notes that he made sure not to lock the hatch on his way out. They noticed the powder-like nature of moon dust and experiment moving about making kangaroo hops. All the while, their heart rates average out in the 90s.

Back on Earth, festivities are planned in the United States to mark the moment, including an event to rename a building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in honor of Armstrong. He died two years ago but Aldrin and Collins will be on hand Monday to recognize the work of their late colleague. 

Armstrong’s family suggests a much simpler way to remember the astronaut’s contribution.

After his death in 2012, they said: “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA/SK

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe