Thursday, July 16, 2009



Apollo 11 lifts off into history


July 20, 1969
Part One

(July 16, Cape Kennedy, FL) Looking back it all seems so primitive, so “iffy”, so impossible. Armed with little more computing power than we have today in our microwave ovens, a massive Saturn 5 rocket, loaded with tons of liquid hydrogen and oxygen sent three incredibly brave men on a journey to another world. This lift off, 40 years ago today, would place two human beings on the Moon while a third orbited overhead awaiting their return.

The history of the Apollo Program is well documented as her precursor Programs Gemini and Mercury. The thousands upon thousands of Americans; engineers, technicians, scientists of every stripe as well as that rare breed of man chosen to be an “Astronaut” are all truly part of a great American achievement and legend. From scratch, within a nine year period of time as ordained by a young President, JFK in 1960, we went from the Earth to the Moon.

Arguably, no human achievement has yet to match it not only for its scale and scope but for its nerve, its collective “can-do” spirit, courage, novel, creative thinking and technical acumen that was developed daily, “on-the-fly” with no points of reference to stand as guideposts.

One Program built on the next with each increasing in hazard, risk and ultimate reward. Project Mercury mastered Earth orbit, while Gemini invented the skills, technology and capabilities that were the pivotal bridge to the Apollo Program which was tasked with “putting a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” JFK would not live to see his bold, brazen, incredibly ballsy vision realized. But, billions the world over would.

The awe and wonder that was ignited with that Saturn 5 rocket that night 40 years ago, still reverberates in the hearts and minds of those of us old enough to appreciate what it meant.

For the next four days we will remember; we remember out of honor, awe and because it is something that is simply unforgettable.

The Brooding Cynyx request all our readership to take a little time and read up on those days, the early years of NASA when they were virtually perfect and all the other amazing, compelling and fascinating aspects of the days of “The Space Race.”

It will be time well spent.

Just a few of the thousands of links available: All well worth a look:

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