Monday, July 20, 2009

Man Steps on the Moon - 40 Years Ago

We don’t seem to like to celebrate the fourth year, or eighth, or ninety-first anniversary of something. It seems as though if there is not a “0” as the last digit, it’s not worth celebrating.

Monday, July 20, is the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. It is a historic occasion – the record of which was almost lost to posterity. NASA released information in 2006 that the original data disks recording the event of man’s first steps on the moon had been erased years ago in order to reuse the disks.

Fortunately, history was preserved. Copies were found in the Johnson Space Center, a tracking station in Australia, and the archives of CBS News. Lowry Digital, a recording company in California, is in the process of digitizing the copies.

A sample of the digitized videos is on the NASA webpage – and the complete set of which will be released in September. There will eventually be about two and a half hours of video available.

A couple of other tidbits: The Daily Telegraph (UK) had an article on trivia about the landing that is interesting, as well two BBC News articles - one titled Weaving the Way To The Moon and the other titled Audio slideshow: Man on the Moon.

I remember watching on television (live) as Neil Armstrong decending the ladder from the Eagle to the surface of the moon. It was almost 10 PM Central time.

History has been preserved… but what lessons have been learned?

Essential question: What value can be placed on preserving documentation of the historic moon landing?


Landing Module Eagle: Wikipedia


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