Happy Tranquility Day!

By | July 20, 2009

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:

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.

Edit: I just had to include this link to “The Eagle Has Landed“, an award winning documentary from 1969 full of Apollo footage, stills, and audio recordings. Hat tip to Abstruse Goose