July 2009 Archives

40 years ago...

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...Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were inside the Apollo 11 spacecraft, on their way to the Moon. They would reach their destination on 21 July at 6:17:40 AEST (20 July 20:17:40 UTC), and Neil Armstrong would become the first human to set foot on the Moon a few hours later, at 12:56 AEST. Images of this event were sent to the whole world from tracking stations in eastern Australia, as anyone who's watched "The Dish" knows.

There is really not much I can write about this event that hasn't been written before and better by other writers, so I will simply let this post mark the occasion. Or, rather, I will let the image below mark the occasion.

369234main_lroc_apollo11labeled_256x256.jpg

That is the Apollo 11 landing site, as photographed last week by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, current on its mission orbiting our satellite. You can clearly see the Eagle landing module, and if you click on the image you'll be taken to the NASA article with images of the landing sites of the other Apollo missions. And the best thing is: better images will come. These pictures were taken before the LRO reached its final orbit, and future passes over these sites will yield much better resolution.

So, let's celebrate the past with an eye on the future. Here's to our return to the Moon!

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