julesjones: (Default)
Today is, of course, the anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon. My parents tell me they put me in front of the tv to watch it, although I have no memory of this. The first spacecraft landing I can remember was on the same day seven years later. Viking 1 touched down on the surface of Mars forty years ago today. I can still remember very clearly my excitement watching a popular science show on tv explaining beforehand how the various instruments and experiments would work, and my sense of wonder at seeing the first images.

Forty years on I'm following the current Mars lander's twitter account. Curiosity's a chatty little robot, or at least the humans behind the account are. Time and technology march on. But still I remember the awe with which I watched that slow scan build up into a panorama of the Martian landscape.
julesjones: (Default)
Gacked from James Nicoll:

Nasa are replaying the audio link from the Apollo 11 mission at exactly the same time on the same dates as forty years ago.

I'm old enough to have been parked in front of the tv by my parents forty years ago come Monday, but not old enough to remember seeing the moon landing. Old enough to have the dream, to have it still. I'm sitting here, listening to what is objectively a very boring tracking report and radio traffic, with a large lump in my throat.

Dreams

Jul. 20th, 2007 11:21 am
julesjones: (Default)
Edmund Hillary is 88 today.

On his 50th birthday, humans set foot on another planet for the first time.

Nowadays we don't bother to keep track of who's stood on Everest -- it's still hard, it's still an incredible achievement for those who do it, but it's become commonplace.

Only twelve of us ever walked on the moon.

Maybe one day we'll change that.
julesjones: (Default)
This morning I booted the computer and smiled at the Google logo for today. They have a nifty little reminder that it's the 36th anniversary of the first time humans walked on the moon.

And now there is a reminder of how very long it is since one of the icons of fictional space exploration first appeared on our tv screens. James Doohan died today, at the age of 85. It's very nearly forty years now, the cast of the original Star Trek are all growing old, and James Doohan is the second to pass through the final frontier that awaits us all. I hope that what he finds on the other side pleases him.

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