Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and if that’s not worth celebrating, I really don’t know what is.
Lots of people are celebrating, of course. Here’s a few sites worth checking out:
- “Remembering Apollo 11“, a photo set from the Boston Globe’s Big Picture feature.
- NASA’s official 40th anniversary page, with photos, videos, and more. One cool feature is “Apollo in your own words“, where members of the public describe what Apollo 11 meant to them.
- “Apollo 11 40th Anniversary Celebrations Around the World“, a flickr set
- Another photo set from Yahoo
- Lastly, the 40th anniversary site at the Kennedy Space Centre, which has a nifty ‘next rocket launch’ countdown in the upper left hand corner.
Incidentally, NASA itself is just over 50 years old, having celebrated its 50th birthday on July 29 last year. The 50th anniversary website is still up, with videos, lectures, articles, and a photo set called “50 Images, 50 Years“, containing many cool photos.
While writing this, I got to thinking: “40 years is quite a long time, I wonder how old those astronauts are now”. Turns out the youngest man alive who has walked on the moon is Charles Duke, who is 74 years old, while the oldest is good old Buzz Aldrin (whose foot you see at top right), at 79. That’s just a bit scary. We’re probably only 5-10 years from losing first hand experience of walking on another world. While I totally grok that unmanned spaceflight is a far better bet for science and exploration, it’s still a little saddening.
There’s one other celebration I didn’t mention yet. After at least two years of work, we’ve finally launched the new Orion’s Arm website. You might think two years is a long time to make a website, but bear in mind that this was done entirely in volunteered spare time, and involved a complete overhaul of the site’s entire content, which at a recent count was 1.4 million words in total. While I did all of the technical work, the real credit goes to Todd Drashner, Stephen Innis, Steve Bowers, and several others assisting them, who painstakingly read, edited, marked up, and in some cases, completely rewrote the whole thing.