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50 year ago today.

Stephen Hawking

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Exactly 50 years ago, today, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin completed what John F Kennedy described as "the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

They came in peace, for all mankind.

On this 50th Anniversary, of this most momentous event, can we spare a moment, to remember those spacemen and women who lost their lives, in the pursuit of mankind's ultimate adventure?

Valentin Bondarenko

Vladimir Komarov

Gus Grissom

Edward White

Roger Chaffey

Georgy Dobrovolsky

Vladislav Volkov

Viktor Patsayev

 Dick Scobee

 Mike Smith

Judith Resnik

Ron McNair

Ellison Onizuka

Christa McAuliffe

Greg Jarvis

Rick Husband

Michael Anderson

David Brown

Kalpana Chawla

Laurel Clark

William McCool

Ilan Ramon



Edited by Stephen Hawking
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Good thing to mention. They were pioneers. We should remember.

I was a student teacher in 1969. The staff moved all the children - aged 7 to 11 - into the assembly hall where classes watched the television. They were about to see something significant they could tell their own children and grandchildren - something tremendous in the history of the world, they were told. 

Schools usually had just the one TV in those days. They were enormous things, designed to be watched by groups the size of a small cinema crowd. They were on tall trolleys that took two male teachers to push. Colour TV had hardly been invented and hadn't reached those monsters. The smaller children sat on the floor.

We all saw Apollo Eleven take off. Some of the staff were crying to think something so tremendous as travelling to the moon had begun in their lifetime. That summer also saw the Investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales, for which the children were likewise marched into the hall and seated before the big TV. I wonder now how many of them at the time were old enough to appreciate the difference in the importance of the two occasions, and how many of them realised how different they were anyway from the usual daytime schools' programmes such as 'Look and Read'  and 'Music Time' ?

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It was summer vacation for me in July of  1969. I was 9 years old. A previous couple of years seemed like such a long time, awaiting for this day. I could vaguely remember the earlier launches from the mid-60s. Even at a young age, I felt that it has been such a long wait for humans to travel to the Moon. I was becoming so caught up in the Space missions and watching the rocket launches. Then, just when I thought we were becoming so close to getting to the Moon, the Tragedy of Apollo 1 struck with utter shock and heartbreak. I had never recalled seeing such a tragedy happening live on TV. I know I must have seen when Kennedy was shot but I was too young to remember any details.

 After the Apollo missions resumed, I was so impatient to see the astronauts get to the Moon. I didn't realize at the time that there were all these test missions. One mission to orbit the Earth and practice the un-docking, Then another mission to orbit the Moon. It was such an intense time, more intense than watching a movie with an exciting ending, almost as intense as seeing my favorite baseball team winning a World Series for the first time. 

Finally, there it is, the launch of Apollo 11, watching on my family's Black and White TV. Actually, I don't even remember seeing that specific launch because they all seemed to have blended in together. 

What I do remember is that soon after the launch day, my family and I headed to upstate New York, about 380 miles/611 km from home to visit relatives that we visited about once or twice a year. I was always very excited to see my 3 cousins, aunt, and uncle. we have always had a great time together, regardless of the occasion. 

 That had to be a VERY  LONG day because all I can remember is when are they going to land, when are they going to get out of the Lunar Module and take that first step on the Moon? Will they land safely? Will they step onto a ground full of cheese? Although we look back now and realize how rapidly John F Kennedy and NASA made plans to reach the Moon before the end of the decade, everything that was done by them and the Apollo astronauts seemed to take forever. Of course, I now realize the extreme measures of caution and precision that had to be taken. Finally, with my family and uncles family, about 8 or 9 of us were huddled around my uncle's really nice big screen TV. I think it was a 24 or 25-inch screen. We hear that famous announcement. Tranquility Base here, The Eagle has landed.  We were all full of CHEERS and TEARS!. Then it was something like 2 or 3 hours longer before the astronauts got out of the ship. Then the moment came when the camera opened up to a somewhat disappointing, blurry but still exciting view of Neil Armstrong, walking down that ladder. There was such a silence, as we were all in awe until Neil took that first step and uttered the first words ever on an alien world.. What an amazing moment in history to have been a part of. 




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I'm just watching Songs of Praise. Like lots of other TV this weekend they're including the 50th moonlanding anniversary. They're showing how they had Holy Communion on the moon and how the wine would have swirled into the chalice when it was poured in at such low gravity. Wow ! The mind boggles as to how they managed to do it in those suits.

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15 hours ago, Stephen Hawking said:

Buzz Aldrin wasn't wearing his space suit gloves, when he had Communion.

From the series From The Earth To The moon:-


So it was before they went down onto the moon's surface. That makes sense. 

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