50 years ago, we were sitting around our 12 inch black and white televisions, or glued to our radios, wondering how the courageous astronauts were doing up there, orbiting the Moon.
Would they manage to land? Would they sink into deep sand? What if the rockets failed and they crashed?
And the question I always had: how did the poor man left in the capsule in orbit feel about it?
Well, the answer to those questions came when I read Michael Collins’ excellent book Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journey. I’ve been hooked on the whole aspect of spaceflight and what real and imaginary astronauts go through ever since. You can tell from my enthusiasm for meeting Helen Sharman last year. Or my numerous book reviews of real or fictional spacers.
I get very angry about the conspiracy theorists. They say we didn’t have the technology to go to the Moon. No, of course we didn’t. We had to invent it, step by step. And the things that came out of that invention we take for granted now – teflon, for example.
But now, out of what seems like sheer bravado, Mr Trump has announced the intention to put a human on Mars by 2024. Whether this is a stunt or bravura, who knows, but it’s got a lot of people excited.
And the first thing that new Mars programme will do is go back to the Moon. 50 years later…
Happy anniversary, moon watchers, and thank you, everyone at NASA, for giving us this hope, this insight, and this wonderful perspective on what it means to be on Earth.Happy anniversary and thank you, NASA, for this wonderful perspective on our Earth. #50years #moonlanding #science @jemima_pett Click To Tweet