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parrot_knight [userpic]

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

August 26th, 2012 (01:52 am)

It's hardly an original subject for a post, and the sentiments which I will express aren't particularly new either. As I was told tonight, when I described Armstrong's death as 'sad news' it was for a given value of sad. Neil Armstrong lived a full and remarkable life. For those of us who grew up in the shadow of that walk on the moon[1], though, the end of Armstrong's life seems like the end of a promise. I recalled the articles in children's magazines of the 1970s which envisaged that by now there would be commercial, routine journeys by astronauts who would train in an environment which would make the Apollo astronauts' experiences look prehistoric. This optimism seems far-fetched now, though I am out of the loop as far as space exploration is concerned, and commercial spaceflight is at least becoming a reality. I hope, for the sake of those now distant times, that human beings walk on other worlds later this century.

[1]...and only a shadow; I can only remember the afterword of the Apollo programme, Apollo-Soyuz.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/536864.html.


Posted by: sensiblecat (sensiblecat)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 06:38 am (UTC)

Exactly. It's one of those deaths, like George Harrison's, that grieves people of a certain age because it's part of ourselves passing into memory. Murray Gold's Tweet said it perfectly,

I'm stepping through the door, and I'm floating in a most peculiar way. And the stars look very different today.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
Hartnell words

I'd not seen that, but Murray Gold indeed has it absolutely right.

Posted by: Kargicq (kargicq)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 09:12 am (UTC)

I am sadly reminded of this, published some months ago.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 12:09 pm (UTC)

Absolutely appropriate. I'd not seen this one - thanks.

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)

While I, of course, am now wondering which projections were used ... ;-)

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)

There is of course also this which somehow manages to prove its own point by not even including the moon landings...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)

Already historic!

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 12:56 pm (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

Not just those born in the immediate shadow of the moon landings! Armstrong and Aldrin were childhood heroes to me. I'm pretty sure I had a poster of this photo on my wall as a child and I certainly played at being 'the first men on the moon' with a primary school friend (the one dressed as Troughton in the photo of me dressed as Tom Baker that I posted on Facebook recently). Although it has to be said that my idea of lunar exploration was based more on the Tintin book Explorers on the Moon than on the Apollo programme...

I too hope for more space exploration this century, although it seems likely that the first man (or woman) on Mars will be Chinese rather than American. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 01:11 pm (UTC)

The shadow is clearly longer than I thought, but that's a good thing.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 26th, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)

On the other hand, even though I also grew up in that shadow with all the associated excitement (I still have some pretty cool, but hopelessly dated books on the subject), emotionally the decommissioning of the space shuttle affected me more than Armstrong's death. Because I remember seeing the first space shuttle touch down (OK, not live, but on the news on the same day, and I can still recall the dust cloud uncer the wheels).

It would have been nice for the first people to stand on another world to directly pass the baton to those who will no doubt go to Mars in the nearish future.

Posted by: Andy (alitalf)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)

I wish I thought that people would go to Mars in the near-ish future. Sadly, I don't think that is in prospect in my lifetime, and quite likely not in the lifetime of most adults alive today. Partly because it is extremely difficult to do and bring the people back safely, and partly because of a lack of will.

I was at school when the first moon landing took place, and the school showed the historic events to everyone there on a large screen (for the day) television. I had good eyesight in those days and saw it clearly, though the memory is a little blurred now.