Wednesday, July 13, 2011

20 JUL 09

"The Eagle has landed." - Neil Armstrong

Simple words, spoken 40 years ago; now etched forever into history.

I watched the moon landing in the apartment I'd rented for my then-wife and daughter to live in until I could afford to have them join me in Japan.
(I left the next day to make my port-call.)
The apartment was located in Blackwood NJ (I think??). Can't remember why we didn't watch from my parent's house in Haddon Heights. They'd been heavily involved in the space program from it's inception. As I wrote in a previous entry, my step-father, Don, had led the engineering team that developed the ranging radar used on the Grumman-built Lunar Module. My mother was the secretary to Don's boss at RCA. They'd just returned from Cape Kennedy, having been invited to attend the launch of the Apollo 11 mission. I knew that the house was filled with RCA engineers and their wives... all waiting with bated breath.

I'd grown up listening to these same people, at dinner parties or barbeques, arguing about the validity of robotics or the origin of God. There was some very heavy brain power concentrated in the space program in those days. Don always said that the government was short-sighted in allowing all that knowlege to dissipate into society, at large, after congress cut funding for the space program. It would've been better used in solving energy or polution problems.

That was a year that was.


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