Sunday, July 19, 2009

if you believe they put a man on the moon....

The 1960s would have been a time I would have loved to experience, judging from a lot I've learned and seen. So much has happened. When my parents were graduating high school, Beatlemania occurred. My parents were at the right age range to go to Woodstock, but my dad was on the other side of the political spectrum. With the just-recent passing of Walter Cronkite, I mentioned in my statuses that I was too young to remember his newscasts that he retired the year I was born ('81). Even though he was very liberal, it probably was a good time for media as it was pretty much treated like fair and balanced news, well compared to what we see today in the mainstream media.

Tomorrow will mark the 40th anniversary of the 'man on the moon' landing. Most of those who were alive at the time remember it as something so incredible a human has ever done. It was considered one of TV Guide's greatest television moments ever, and has inspired several pop culturisms (hello, REM?). Only two other countries have done this since 1969. I remember reading in one of my presidential books about John F. Kennedy's vision of having a man on the moon. He was having a private conversation with staffers and media people in the White House. "I need answers...we need to have a man on the moon by the time this decade is over" NASA workers and scientists were also present, and most of them considered it impossible to do. Kennedy continued with saying, "I can ask the janitor over there if I have to. Any suggestions are welcome..." We all know JFK was silenced too soon, but it indeed happened before the 1970s.

Three years ago, I took a philosophy-themed Media Ethics course (that was required for Mass Comm students) and I remember during one discussion the professor asked something like 'What do you think is the best thing a person could ever do that would outweigh anything?' or 'What would be considered a single great accomplishment?'. I don't remember exactly what the question was, but I responded 'Putting a man on the moon'. Several people in class agreed with me, but the professor asked why. It sounded like he disagreed, but he wanted me to explain myself. I mentioned that it was something that was never done or tried before, by any human being. The professor wanted me to go deeper in depth. "Well...", I continued. "It was not just an accomplishment, but it helped us win the space race between the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union put the first satellite, first dog and first man in space, but it was nothing compared to setting foot on the moon. This installed plenty of confidence in us as a nation...and it was one of our first wins in the Cold War. It was set up in teamwork fashion. It also opened a new beginning in air travel as well as the possibility of more space travel". It pretty much ended there.

There are also several theories saying the whole moon landing was all a hoax. But in my mind, there were too many people and organizations involved in this, and for NASA to fake this would sound ridiculous. I would like to know how they got it all on video, however. Possibly from a satellite, I guess that got everybody watching.

I'm not sure what's in store in celebrating the occasion, but I'll keep my eyes and ears open. It's too bad space travel has had its share of goods and mostly bads since then, starting with Apollo 13. With this down economy, it will probably be a while until we see any new space achievements and accomplishments.

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