Monday, October 01, 2007

In the Shadow of the Moon

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Summary: "In the Shadow of the Moon" is a documentary film by Ron Howard about the race to the moon, Apollo 11 - the first successful manned lunar landing mission, and the subsequent lunar expeditions. The surviving crew members from NASA's Apollo missions tell their story in their own words.

An uplifting, inspiration film about a time in US history when we were seen as true pioneers. The first lunar landing gave the country (and entire world) a sense of pride and accomplishment. I loved the behind the scenes stories told by the astronauts themselves. (Alan Bean from Apollo 12 is really funny.) I found the first hand accounts to be insightful, heartfelt, and eye opening. The only criticism I have of the film is that it does not have a face to face interview with Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The film does try it's best to feature him in archive footage, and the other astronauts talk about him, but the man's absence in the film is still noticeable (and perplexing!).

Courage vs. Bravery
While watching the documentary I was reminded of a word game I sometimes listen to on the radio - one question was, "What's the difference between "courage" and "bravery". People with courage can do brave things but they're still afraid. Those who are brave have no fear. These astronauts were truly brave and real heroes with "the right stuff."

Plaque on the Moon
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted a plaque on the lunar surface on 20 July 1969. It reads: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."

Buzz Aldrin
"We feel this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown." Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.

Did you know Buzz Aldrin was the 1st astronaut to have a Ph.D. and his nickname was "Dr. Rendezvous"? He was also the 1st one to pee on the moon. What did you think he was doing when he stopped at the bottom on the ladder?

So when are we going to Mars?

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