Saturday, July 18, 2009

Neil Armstrong Moon Landing

I had C-SPAN on this morning watching James Hansen talk about his book "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong." As the author was talking about the decision for Neil to be the first to set foot upon the moon (instead of Buzz Aldrin) I got to thinking a) about what Armstrong said, b) how odd that it was left to Armstrong to say what he wanted on such a defining occasion, and c) how fortunate, timeless, inspirational and high-minded Armstrong's mis-spoken line "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" was - especially considering what it could've been given the cold-war political climate.

From what I understand - the line was composed by Armstrong in the 6 hours after landing on the moon prior to exiting the lander. You gotta give kudos to Armstrong for coming up with such a cool statement in both short order and with so much else likely going on in the lander. Maybe it was inspiration from the moment. But in any event I'm glad the line was left to Armstrong rather than to be butchered by some government committee.

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